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Full text of "The supervisor's handbook"

The Supervisor's Handbook 




For Use When Serving On or Working For Ttie 



Board of Supervisors 



of the 



City and County of San Francisco 



APR 2 3 1998 



April 1998 Edition 




8^ 



to 



CO 



iSJJIJfRfNCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 1223 04655 3997 



The Supervisor's Handbook 

Questions and Answers 



from the Clerk of the Board 



One sunny morning Emily and Johnny and JT came to the office o^ the San 
Francisco Board of Supervisors. 



m 



boCUMEPiTS 



...1 J iM ^^ know how the Board of Supervisors works. 

Cl<^)i uld you like to know? 

; may soon be appointed as a member of the Board and two of us 
s aides to a member of the Board. 



SAN FRANCISCO 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

REFERENCE 
BOOK 

Nut Id he taken from I lie Lihnuj 



jiow some things. We have fourteen questions. 

1 well prepared. Fourteen answers should not be too difficult. 

ips we should warn you that each of our fourteen questions has 
ap questions. The total number of questions may be well over a 

^erk of the Board either knows all these things or can find out for 

and start asking. 



\yjTi me loiiowing pages are the questions and answers. We even 
added an index at the back to make the answers easier to find.] 



# 



REF 351.7946 Su76 

1998 
Supervisor ' s handbook 

(San Francisco 
The supervisor's 

handbook. 

Emily: Actually the Clerk is not this yoimg looking. 

JT: And he has longer eyebrows. 

Johnny: And the Handbook does not have a dark gray cover. 



SJIUfRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY 

wwmm 



3 1223 04655 3997 

The Supervisor's Handbook 

Questions and Answers 

from the Clerk of the Board 

One sunny morning Emily and Johnny and JT came to the office of the San 
Francisco Board of Supervisors. 

Emily: We would like to know how the Board of Supervisors works. 

The Clerk: Okay, what would you like to know? 

Johnny: Weil, one of us may soon be appointed as a member of the Board and two of us 

may take jobs as aides to a member of the Board. 

JT: So we need to know some things. We have fourteen questions. 

The Clerk: Fine. You seem well prepared. Fourteen answers should not be too difficult. 

Emily: Ummm Perhaps we should warn you that each of our fourteen questions has 

several follow-up questions. The total number of questions may be well over a 
hundred. 

Johnny: We figure the Clerk of the Board either knows all these things or can find out for 

us. 

Clerk: Okay, sit down and start asking. 

[On the following pages are the questions and answers. We even 
added an index at the back to make the answers easier to fmd.] 



m 



REF 351.7946 Su76 

1998 
Supervisor's handbook 

(San Francisco 
The supervisor's 

handbook. 

Emily: Actually the Clerk is not this young looking. 

JT: And he has longer eyebrows. 

Johimy: And the Handbook does not have a dark gray cover. 



& 



Question 1. How are Supervisors Elected? 

What are the terms and what are ballots like? 

There are eleven Supervisors. Voters elect them in November of even numbered years. They 
have to declare they are candidates sometime in early August. As a practical matter, they usually 
decide well in advance of August so they can start raising money. They have four year 
overlapping terms. At present voters elect six Supervisors in years when they elect a U. S. 
President; voters elect five Supervisors two years later. That will change in the year 2000 when 
district elections start. Voters use non-partisan ballots; that is, the ballot does not show any 
political party, and Supervisors do not run as members of a party or faction. 

Is that usual in California, not showing Democrat or Republican on the ballot? 

In no California city or county does the ballot show political parties. Local election ballots in 
some other states show political parties. 

Are there Districts now? 

Not now, but there will be in the year 2000 unless voters again change the Charter before then. 
In November 1996 voters approved a Charter amendment calling for district elections starting in 
November of the year 2000. There will be eleven districts with one Supervisor elected from each 
district. If no candidate gets a majority of the district votes, a rvmoff election will be held in 
December. 

Will the terms still be four year terms? 

Yes in the long run. But the transition to district elections will mean some changes. In 1 998 
candidates for the five at-large seats will only run for two years. Then at the first district election 
in 2000 about half of the Supervisors will be elected for four year terms and about half of the 
Supervisors will be elected for two year terms. The Clerk will determine by lot whether the 
Supervisors from odd or even numbered districts get the four year terms. Then beginning in 
2002 all terms will be four year terms. 

Will all the present Supervisors be eligible to run in the district elections? 

No. Although no Supervisor will reach the two term limit in 1998, Supervisors Bierman and 
Kaufman complete their two terms in early 2001 and will not be able to run in 2000. 

Could the other nine Supervisors all be reelected in 2000? 

Only if some of them move. Of the nine Supervisors eligible to run in 2000, six of them now 
live in a district with another Supervisor. If two Supervisors live in a district, only one could be 
elected. 

Which Supervisors will have no competition from another member of the Board? 

Assuming that the present members are all in office in 2000 and that no member moves, only 
Supervisors Medina (District 10-Southeast), Newsom (District 2-North), and Yaki (District 1- 
The Richmond) will have no competition from another Board member. 



Which pairs of Supervisors now live in the same district? 

Supervisors Brown and Teng both live in District 7. running from Twin Peaks to the southwest. 
Supervisors Leno and Yee both hve in District 8, in Noe Valley. 
Supervisors Ammiano and Katz both live in District 9, in Bemal Heights. 

Does that leave three districts without a present Supervisor? 

Well, all 1 1 Supervisors now represent residents of all districts. 

Okay, but in which districts do no Supervisors presently live? 

There are now no Supervisors living in: 

District 4, the Sunset, 

District 6, south of Market, the Civic Center, and the Tenderloin, and 

District 1 1 , including Ocean View and Balboa Park. 

What about Districts 3 and 5? 

That is where Supervisors Bierman and Kaufman live. They will not be able to run because of 
the two term limit. District 3 is in the northeast part of the city including Telegraph Hill. 
District 5 runs from Japantown to 19th Avenue south of Golden Gate Park. 

Can you list the districts and who lives there now? 

1 . The Richmond Michael Yaki 

2. North Gavin Newsom 

3. Northeast, Telegraph Hill Barbara Kaufman (can't run in 2000) 

4. Simset No Supervisor 

5. Japantown to 19"' Ave. Sue Bierman (can't run in 2000) 

6. South of Market, Tenderloin No Supervisor 

7. Twin Peaks to the Southwest Amos Brown and Mabel Teng 

8. Noe Valley Mark Leno and Leland Yee 

9. Bemal Heights Tom Ammiano and Leslie Katz 

10. Southeast Jose Medina 

1 1 . Ocean View, Balboa Park No Supervisor 

Did we have district elections several years ago? 

In 1 977 there were eleven Supervisors elected from districts. In 1 979 voters elected Supervisors 
from six of the eleven districts, the odd numbered districts. Then in August 1 980, the voters 
amended the Charter to go back to at large elections in November 1980. Some of the 
Supervisors among the eleven elected at large in 1 980 were first elected from districts. None of 
those Supervisors now remain on the Board of Supervisors. 

Are there term limits? 

Yes. In June 1990 voters adopted a Charter amendment limiting Supervisors to two terms. 
Supervisors in office when the limit was enacted were deemed to be serving in their first term, 
even though they may already have served several terms. A two term limit for the office of 
Mayor was adopted by the voters in 1955. 

3 1223 04655 3997 
3 

5.F. PUBLIC LiBRlRY- 



Who has had to leave the Board because of the term limits? 

Bill Maher came on the Board in 1983. In 1990 he supported the two term limit proposal and 
then was not able to run in 1994 because of the limit. He served 12 years. Tom Hsieh, who 
came on the Board in mid 1986, and Angela Alioto who was elected in 1988, were not able to 
nm in 1 996 because of the two term limit. Supervisor Kermedy, who served 1 5 years, and 
Supervisor Hallinan would not have been able to run in 1996 but left to take other positions 
within a year of being struck by the two term limit. Supervisors Carole Migden and Kevin 
Shelley both left the Board in their sixth year in office to run successfully for the State 
Assembly. Their decision to leave was probably influenced by term limits at both the state and 
city levels. 

Do term limits result in better Supervisors? 

First, you should know that the Clerk never judges the quality of Supervisors. I do not even tell 
my wife how I voted at an election. Secondly, it is too early for anyone to answer your question. 
Clearly the Board will not have leaders with long institutional memories and more of its 
members will be relatively green. In January 1997, for example, the average length of service of 
Supervisors in office was just over a year and a half, with the most experienced having just four 
years in office. Now, in April 1 998, the median length of service of Supervisors in office is 
about a year and ten months. The results of the combination of term limits and district elections, 
of course, are still unknown. 

Who are the present Supervisors? 

These are the Supervisors as of April 1998, and the dates they took office. The ones who first 
took office on a January 8, were elected the previous November. Supervisors who started on a 
different date were first appointed to office by a Mayor. After their appointments, Supervisors 
Katz, and Yaki were later elected. 



Supervisor 

1 . Sue Bierman 

2. Barbara Kaufinan 

3. TomAmmiano 

4. Mabel Teng 

5. Michael Yaki 

6. Amos Brown 

7. Leslie Katz 

8. Leland Yee 

9. Jose Medina 

10. Gavin Newsom 

11. MarkLeno 



Service Began 
January 8, 1993 
Januarys, 1993 
Januarys, 1995 
Januarys, 1995 
Februarys, 1996 
May 29, 1996 
June 1, 1996 
Januarys, 1997 
Januarys, 1997 
February 13, 1997 
April 22, 1998 



Are we having more changes than usual? 

In November 1997 voters elected Supervisor Susan Leal to serve as City Treasurer. Mayor 
Willie Brown then appointed Mark Leno to succeed Susan Leal effective April 22. 1998. Before 
that, in a twelve month period, from February 1996 to February 1997, we acquired six new 
Supervisors, even though no incumbent lost an election. 

How did that happen and what were the six changes? 

(1) In November 1995 voters elected Supervisor Terence Hallinan to be District Attorney. In 
February 1996 Mayor Willie Brown appointed Michael Yaki to replace Hallinan for the 
remaining 1 1 months of his term as Supervisor. Yaki was then elected in November 1996. 

(2) In December 1 995 voters elected Speaker Emeritus Willie Brown to be San Francisco Mayor. 
On March 26. 1996. voters elected Supervisor Carole Migden to Mayor Brown's former seat in 
the Assembly. In May Mayor Brown appointed Amos Brown to replace Migden on the Board, 
to serve the remaining 3 1 months of her term. 

(3) In June 1996 Supervisor Kennedy left to become Administrative Officer of the Public 
Transition Development Corp. Mayor Brown then appointed Leslie Katz to replace Kennedy for 
the remaining seven months of her term. 

(4 and 5) In November 1996 voters elected Leland Yee and Jose Medina to replace Tom Hsieh 
and Angela Alioto who could not run because of the two term limit. 

(6) In November 1996 voters elected Kevin Shelley to a State Assembly seat. Mayor Brown 
then appointed Gavin Newsom to replace Shelley on the Board effective Februar>' 13, 1997. 

Doesn 't a new Supervisor with more than two years left in the term have to run in November? 

Under the new Charter effective July 1, 1996, a Supervisor appointed to fill a vacancy with more 
than two years and five months left in the term has to be elected in order to complete the term. 
But no appointments have been made since the Charter became effective which meet that 
requirement. 

How many times can an appointed Supervisor later run for election? 

A Supervisor appointed for less than half a term can run twice for election. A Super\isor 
appointed for more than half a term can only run once more. In effect, an appointment for more 
than half a term counts as a full term. Thus Supervisor Leal when first appointed was in her term 
zero. She could, and did, run in 1994 for her "first" term. She could have nm for reelection as a 
Supervisor in 1998 and 2000. Instead she ran successfully for Treasurer in 1997. Supervisor 
Yaki when first appointed was also in his term zero. He could, and did, run for his "first" term in 
1996. He can run for his "second" term in 2000. Supervisor Newsom, recently appointed, is 
now in his term zero. He could serve two future fiill terms. Supervisor Brown, appointed with 
more than two years remaining in a term is considered in his first full term. He can only have 
one more full term. But the new district election charter provision affects what is coimted as a 
term. 

What is the situation in November 1998? 

In November 1998 there will be no Supervisor who cannot run because of term limits. 
Supervisors Ammiano, Brown, Leno, Newsom, and Teng may run for two year terms which do 
not count as a term under the two term limit. Thev will also be able to run in a district in 2000. 



Do the two year terms which start in 1998 and 2000 count as full terms? 

Supervisors elected in 1998 will all serve two year terms which do not count as terms under the 
two term limit. A Supervisor elected for the first time in 2000 for a two year term will not have 
that term count toward the two term limit. Thus that Supervisor might serve a total of 10 years: a 
two year term which does not count, then two four year terms. An incumbent Supervisor 
reelected for a two year term in 2000 would have that term count toward the two term limit. In 
effect, the combination two year elections in 1 998 and in 2000 would coimt as a term. 

Who have been Supervisors since the 1980 at large election? 

Roberta Achtenberg was elected in 1990, resigned June 2. 1993, to become HUD Assistant 
Secretary. 

Angela Alioto was elected in 1988 and 1992. After serving 8 years as Supervisor she could not 
run for reelection in 1996. 

Tom Ammiano, elected in 1994, after serving 4 years as Supervisor may run in 1998 and in 
2000. 

Sue Bierman was elected in 1992 and 1996. She cannot run in 2000. 

Harry Britt was first appointed in January 1 979 by Mayor Dianne Feinstein, succeeding Harvey 
Milk. Britt was then elected in 1980, 1984, and 1988. Britt did not run for reelection in 1992. 

Amos Brown was appointed effective May 29, 1996, by Mayor Willie Brown, succeeding 
Carole Migden. He may run for reelection in 1998 and 2000. 

Annemarie Conroy was appointed April 6, 1992, succeeding Doris Ward. She then ran 
unsuccessfully in 1994. 

Lee Dolson was first elected in 1977, lost in 1979, won in 1980, then ran unsuccessfully for 
reelection in 1982. 

Jim Gonzalez was appointed December 8, 1986, by Mayor Dianne Feinstein, succeeding 
Quentin Kopp. Gonzalez was then elected in 1988, and ran unsuccessfiilly in 1992. 

Terence Hallinan was elected in 1988 and 1992. After 7 years as Supervisor, he resigned 
effective upon his swearing in as District Attorney on January 8, 1996. 

Richard Hongisto was elected in 1980, 1982, and 1986. He ran successfiilly for Assessor in 
1990. 

Tom Hsieh was appointed September 5, 1986, by Mayor Dianne Feinstein, succeeding Louise 
Renne. Hsieh then was elected in 1988 and 1992. He could not run for reelection in 1996. 

Ella Hill Hutch was elected in 1977 and 1980. She died m office February 25, 1981 . 

Leslie Katz was appointed effective June 1, 1996, by Mayor Willie Brown, succeeding Willie B. 
Kennedy. Supervisor Katz was elected in November 1996 and may run in 2000. 

Barbara Kaufman was elected in 1992 and 1996. She may not run in 2000. 



Willie B. Kennedy was appointed effective March 6, 1 981 , succeeding Ella Hill Hutch. She was 
elected in 1984. 1988. and 1992. She resigned in .A.pril 1996 in order to become Administrative 
Officer of the Public Transition Development Corp. 

Quentin Kopp was elected in 1971. 1975, 1977, 1980, and 1984. He resigned November 30, 
1 986, to become State Senator. 

Susan Leal was appointed June 7, 1993, by Mayor Frank Jordan, succeeding Roberta 
Achtenberg. Leal resigned effective January 8, 1998. to become City Treasurer. 

Mark Leno was appointed by Mayor Willie Brown effective April 22, 1998. succeeding Susan 
Leal. Leno may nm in 1998 and 2000. 

Bill Maher. elected in 1 982. 1 986. and 1 990, was first to feel the effect of the two term limit 
provision adopted in 1990 so he could not run in 1994. 

Jose Medina was elected in 1996 and may nm in 2000. 

Carole Migden was elected in 1990 and 1994. She resigned effective March 28, 1996, to 
become a member of the State Assembly. 

John Molinari was elected in 1971. 1975. 1977, 1980. and 1984. He did not run for reelection in 
1988. 

Wendy Nelder was elected in 1980, 1982, and 1986. She ran unsuccessfiilly for Assessor in 
1990 instead of running for reelection as Supervisor. 

Gavin Newsom was appointed by Mayor Willie Brown effective February 13. 1997, succeeding 
Kevin Shelley. Newsom may run in 1998 and 2000. 

Louise Renne was appointed December 18, 1978, by Mayor Dianne Feinstein, succeeding 
Feinstein as Supervisor. Renne was elected in 1980 and 1984. She resigned September 3, 1986, 
to become City Attorney. 

Kevin Shelley was elected in 1990 and 1994. In November 1996 he was elected to the State 
Assembly seat previously held by John Burton who was elected to the State Senate. Shelley 
resigned from the Board effective December 2. 1996, when he took office as an Assemblyman. 

Carol Ruth Silver was elected in 1977, 1980, and 1984. She ran unsuccessfully for reelection in 
1988. 

Mabel Teng was elected in 1994, and after 4 years as Supervisor can nm again in 1998 and 2000. 

Nancy Walker as elected in 1979, 1980, 1982, and 1986. She did not run for reelection in 1990. 

Doris Ward as elected in 1979, 1980. 1982, 1986, and 1990. She resigned April 3, 1992, to 
become Assessor. 

Michael Yaki was appointed effective February 5, 1996, succeeding Terence Hallinan. Yaki was 
elected in November 1996 and may run in 2000. 

Leland Yee was elected in 1996 and may nm in 2000. 



Which Supervisors succeeded which Supervisors? 

Naturally, when one Supervisor is appointed or only one Supervisor is elected at an election, the 
succession is clear. When two or three new Supervisors are elected at the same time, we 
consider the new Supervisor with the most votes to be succeeding the most senior departing 
Supervisor. This list is the succession of Supervisors beginning with the 1980 election when the 
City returned to at-large elections. The first named Supervisor in each line was elected in 1980. 
The order of listing is the order of votes in the 1980 election. The dates show the year of the 
election of a successor, or, if an asterisk is shown, the year of appointment. 



Supervisors Kopp 1971 
Supervisors Molinari 1971 
Supervisors Rerme 1 978 
Supervisors Silver 1977 
Supervisors Hutch 1 977 
Supervisors Britt 1 979 
Supervisors Walker 1 979 
Supervisors Ward 1979 
Supervisors Dolson 1980 
Supervisors Hongisto 1 980 
Supervisors Nelder 1980 



Gonzalez 1986* 
Alioto 1988 
Hsieh 1986* 
Hallinan 1988 
Kennedy 1981* 
Bierman 1992. 
Migden 1990 
Conroy 1992* 
Maher 1982 
Achtenberg 1990 
Shelley 1990 



Kaufman 1992. 
Yee 1996. 
Medina 1996. 
Yaki 1996*. 
Katz 1996*. 

Brown 1996*. 
Teng 1994. 
Ammianol994. 
Leal 1993* 
Newsom 1997*. 



Leno 1998*. 



Most of the seats were held by just three Supervisors over the 17 years. Four Supervisors 
(Hongisto, Achtenberg, Leal, and Leno) held one seat. Only two Supervisors (Britt and 
Bierman) held one seat. 

There seem to be many appointments instead of elections. Can you list them? 

Here are the appointments in the most recent 20 year period. 

Mayor Dianne Feinstein appointed five Supervisors: 

Donald Horanzy to succeed Supervisor Dan White, who had resigned. 

Louise Renne to succeed Supervisor Feinstein, the new Mayor succeeding George Moscone. 

Harry Britt to succeed Supervisor Harvey Milk, killed by former Supervisor White. 

Tom Hsieh to succeed Louise Rerme who was appointed City Attorney. 

Jim Gonzalez to succeed Quentin Kopp who was elected State Senator. 

Mayor Art Agnos appointed no Supervisors. 

Mayor Frank Jordan appointed two Supervisors: 

Annemarie Conroy to succeed Doris Ward who was appointed City Assessor. 

Susan Leal to succeed Roberta Achtenberg who resigned to become HUD Assistant Secretary. 

Mayor Willie Brown has appointed five Supervisors: 

Michael Yaki to succeed Terence Hallinan who was elected District Attorney. 

Amos Brown to succeed Carole Migden who was elected to the State Assembly. 

Leslie Katz to succeed Willie B. Kennedy newly an officer of the Transition Development Corp. 

Gavin Newsom to succeed Kevin Shelley who was elected to the State Assembly. 

Mark Leno to succeed Susan Leal who was elected City Treasurer. 



As you can see, political promotions and two assassinations contributed to the turnover. 



Can you tell us something about the present Supervisors? 

Supervisor Tom Ammiano is a former President of the San Francisco Board of Education. He 
has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts from Seton Hall University and a degree in 
special education from San Francisco State University. He is an instructor in Humanities at New 
College of California and an instructor in AIDS Peer Education at City College of San Francisco. 
He is a professional stand-up comic. He has a Harvey Milk Community Service Award. He was 
the subject of a Newsweek magazine story on Gay Teachers and has been profiled in the New 
York Times and on Good Morning America. 

Supervisor Sue Bierman. the senior member of the Board of Supervisors, was an early fighter 
against freeways in Golden Gate Park and other city neighborhoods. She was appointed to the 
City Planning Commission by three mayors and served on that body until her election to the 
Board of Supervisors. She is a member of the Citizens' Advisory Group for Long Range 
Planning of the University of California at San Francisco, is a member of the Board of the 
Ecumenical Ministr\- of the Haight Ashbur>-. She has served as a member of the Hunters Point 
Shipyard Advisor> Committee and of the Port Commission's Waterfront Advisorv' Board. 

Supervisor Amos Brown is the pastor of the Third Baptist Church. The Rev. Dr. Brown has 
served as leader of the largest Black Baptist Church in San Francisco, the oldest Black Baptist 
Church in the western United States, since 1976. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology 
from Morehouse College in Atlanta, a Masters of Divinity degree from Crozer Theological 
Seminary of Chester, PA, and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from United Theological Seminarv in 
Dayton, Ohio. Active in the civil rights movement since his teens, he has worked closely with 
Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Evers and Jesse Jackson to promote non-violent activism. 

Supervisor Leslie Katz is an attorney. Immediately prior to her appointment as a Supervisor she 
was the president of the San Francisco Community College District Board to which she was 
elected in 1994. She has a Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Califomia at 
Berkeley and a law degree from Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. She is a past 
president of the local chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus, and a member of the 
Board of Directors of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center Project. 

Supervisor Barbara Kaufman was Fotmding Director and host of KCBS Radio's Call for 
Action where, with a team of volimteers, she helped Bay Area consumers. She was a member of 
the Board of Directors of the Coro Foundation, a member of the Consumer Advisory Council of 
the Federal Reserve Board, a member of the Board of Directors of Jewish Family and Children's 
Services, and a member of the Board of Directors of United Way. She is the author of "Barbara 
Kaufinan's Consumer Action Guide: Your Rights from A to Z" and author of "Nolo's Pocket 
Guide of Consumer Rights." 

Supervisor Mark Leno has been the owner and president of Budget Signs. Inc, an established 
small business in San Francisco since 1978. He was co-chair of the Finance Committee 
concerning the Charter Reform Proposition in 1995. He has been active in the Gay and Lesbian 
Community, including membership on the National Gay and Lesbian Rights Task Force. He has 
a Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude from the American College of Jerusalem in Israel. 
He is active in the Community Center Project and has been active in Haight Ashbur>' Commimity 
Services. He was on the executive committee of the San Francisco Economic Summit in 1996. 

Supervisor Jose Medina has been a member of the San Francisco Police Commission, Board of 
Permit Appeals, and Relocation Appeals Board. He was student body president at City College 
of San Francisco, received a Bachelors degree in urban studies from San Francisco State 
University and a law degree from Hastings College of the Law. He also attended Harvard 
Graduate School of Business. He has worked as a planning assistant in the Berkeley Planning 



Department and has been a member of the Community Development Council concerned with the 
Mission Bay development. He also served as President of St. Anthony's Foundation. 

Supervisor Gavin Newsom is a fourth generation San Franciscan raised in the Marina. He has a 
Bachelor of Science degree from Santa Clara University in political science. Immediately prior 
to his service as a Supervisor, he was President of the San Francisco Parking and Traffic 
Commission. He is the President, founder and general partner of several organizations which 
develop and operate restaurants, a luxury resort, a winery, a wine retail store, and similar 
operations. His father is William Newsom, a retired State Court of Appeal judge. The 
Supervisor has worked with the Mayor's office on graffiti control and street cleaning. 

Supervisor Mabel Teng is the first Chinese-American woman ever to serve on the Board of 
Supervisors. She is the first Asian Pacific-American to be elected to the Board in a city-wide 
election without the benefit of incumbency. She is the Executive Director of Asian American 
Donor Program, an agency dedicated to increasing awareness about the need for bone marrow 
transplants in all underrepresented minority communities. She is a former Executive Director of 
Career Resource Development Center which provides education, job training, and job placement 
services. For 1 1 years she was a faculty member at City College of San Francisco. 

Supervisor Michael Yaki is the son of a career United States Foreign Service Officer and has 
lived in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Canada. His father is a third 
generation Japanese-American (with a dash of Hawaiian thrown in) and his mother is a first 
generation Chinese-American. Supervisor Yaki received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the 
University of California at Berkeley where he majored in East Asian studies in the Political 
Science Department. He received a law degree from Yale, practiced law in San Francisco, then 
became the chief of staff in the San Francisco office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. 

Supervisor Leland Yee served eight years as a member of the San Francisco Board of Education 
immediately prior to his election as a Supervisor and served as president of that Board. A 
product of the San Francisco public school system, he was graduated from the University of 
California at Berkeley, received a Masters degree in developmental psychology from San 
Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of 
Hawaii. He has served as chairman of the Council of Urban Boards of Education and has served 
as an education consultant to several California school districts. 

Can you summarize why Supervisors left office? 

Of the 33 Supervisors in office since 1980, 22 have left: 

10 left for another position (Achtenberg, Hallinan, Hongisto, Kermedy, Kopp, Leal, Migden, 

Renne, Shelley, Ward) 
4 were defeated for reelection (Conroy, Dolson, Gonzalez, Silver) 
4 chose not to run for reelection (Britt, Molinari, Nelder, Walker) 
1 died in office (Hutch) 
3 left because of the two term limit (Alioto, Hsieh, Maher). 

What were the results of Supervisors' elections since 1980? 

These are the Election results, the order of finish, since district elections ended in 1980: 



I 



10 



1980 Election 

1. Quentin L. Kopp 

2. John L. Molinari 

3. Louise H. Rerme 

4. Carole Ruth Silver 

5. Ella Hill Hutch 

6. Harry Britt 

7. Nancy G. Walker 

8. Doris M. Ward 

9. Lee S. Dolson* 

10. Richard D. Hongisto* 

11. Wendy Nelder* 

then 54 unsuccessful candidates 



3. Tom Hsieh 

4. Terence Hallinan* 

5. Willie B. Kennedy 

6. Jim Gonzalez 

then 1 8 unsuccessful candidates 

1 990 Election 



1. Doris Ward 

2. BillMaher 

3. Carole Migden* 

4. Roberta Achtenberg* 

5. Kevin Shelley* 

then 20 unsuccessful candidates 



1982 Election 

1. Wendy Nelder 

2. Richard D. Hongisto 

3. Doris M.Ward 

4. Nancy G. Walker 

5. BillMaher* 

then 1 9 unsuccessfiil candidates 

1984 Election 

1. John L. Molinari 

2. Louise Renne 

3. Quentin L. Kopp 

4. Harry Britt 

5. Willie B. Kennedy 

6. Carol Ruth Silver 

then 23 unsuccessful candidates 



1992 Election 

1 . Angela Alioto 

2. Sue Bierman* 

3. Tom Hsieh 

4. Willie B. Kennedy 

5. Barbara Kaufman* 

6. Terence Hallinan 

then 20 unsuccessftil candidates 

1994 Election 

1 . Kevin Shelley 

2. Carole Migden 

3. Susan Leal 

4. Tom Ammiano* 

5. Mabel Teng* 

then 1 9 unsuccessful candidates 



1986 Election 

1 . Nancy G. Walker 

2. BillMaher 

3. Richard D. Hongisto 

4. Doris M. Ward 

5. Wendy Nelder 



1996 Election 



Barbara Kaufman 
Sue Bierman 
Leland Yee* 
Leslie Katz 
Michael Yaki 
Jose Medina* 



then 22 unsuccessful candidates 
* Indicates a non-incumbent elected 



then 14 unsuccessful candidates 

1988 Election 

1. Harry Britt 

2. Angela Alioto* 

How much are Supervisors paid? 

San Francisco Supervisors are paid $23,924 a year. The city Charter, adopted by the voters, sets 
the salaries. The 1932 San Francisco Charter provided for pay of $2,400 a year. The value of 
the dollar has decreased since then, of course. The pay was raised bv the voters to $4,800 in 
1956, to $9,600 in 1964, and to the present $23,924 in November 1982. In November 1996 
voters rejected a proposed Charter amendment which would have raised the pay to $50,000 a 
year. The June 1998 ballot contains a provision raising the salary to the 1982 approved level 
plus the increase of the Consumer's Price Index (CPI) since then, to $37,585. 



11 



The salary seems low. Is it? 

Yes. Supervisors elsewhere are paid more. In Los Angeles they are paid $107,390 a year. Since 
the San Francisco salary was set in 1982, the CPI has risen about 57%. The San Francisco salary 
would need to be about $40,000 to have the same purchasing power it had in 1982. 

On what outside compensated boards do Supervisors serve? 

Four Supervisors serve on the Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and 
Transportation District (known as the Bridge Board). The four are Supervisors Ammiano, 
Kauftnan, Teng, and Yaki. That Board meets on the second and fourth Friday of each month at 
10:00 a.m. in the Administration Building at the Golden Gate Bridge. Members are each paid 
$50 a meeting. 

Two Supervisors serve on the Executive Committee of the Association of Bay Area 
Governments (ABAG). They are Supervisors Brown and Yaki. A third seat will be available 
from July 1998 to June 2000, a seat whose appointment rotates each two years between the 
Board and the Mayor. There are two alternate members, Supervisors Katz and Yee. The 
Committee meets about eight times a year, usually on the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 
p.m. at 101 8th Street in Oakland, next to the Lake Merritt BART Station. Members are each 
paid $75 a meeting. 

Until January 8, 1 997, a Board member served on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission 
(MTC). In December 1 996 the Board decided to have Tom Hsieh, a long time member of the 
MTC and very knowledgeable about transportation matters, continue to serve on that body. The 
Commission meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 10:00 a.m. at 101 8th Street in 
Oakland, next to the Lake Merritt BART station. Members are each paid $100 a meeting wdth a 
limit of five meetings a month. 

One member. Supervisor Teng, serves on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board, 
often known as the "Air Board." That Board meets on the first and third Wednesday of each 
month at 9:30 a.m. at 939 Ellis Street on the seventh floor. Each member is paid $100 a meeting. 

Supervisor Bierman serves on the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). 
The Commission meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at 1 :00 p.m., usually at 101 
8th Street in Oakland, next to the Lake Merritt BAJR.T station. Each member is paid $100 a 
meeting. 

Supervisor Bierman serves on the Joint Powers Board (jointly with San Mateo County and Santa 
Clara County) concerning CalTrain, the rail service between San Francisco and the Peninsula. 
That Board meets on the first Thursday of each month at 10:00 a.m. in the second floor 
auditorium at 1250 San Carlos Avenue in San Carlos. Each member is paid $50 a meeting. 

In addition, all 1 1 Supervisors serve on the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. The 
Authority meets at 1 1 :00 a.m. on the third Monday of each month in the Board Chamber. 
Authority committees usually meet in the morning of other Mondays. 

How does the Board select Supervisors for these positions? 

Supervisors choose these positions on the basis of seniority wdth no Supervisor permitted to use 
that seniority to sit in more than two compensated positions. These are the seniority order 
selections at present: 



12 



1. 


Sue Bierman 


BCDC and Joint Powers Board 


2. 


Barbara Kaufman 


Bridge Board 


J. 


Tom Ammiano 


Bridge Board 


4. 


Mabel Teng 


Bridge Board & Air Board 


5. 


Michael Yaki 


Bridge Board & ABAG 


6. 


Amos Brown 


ABAG 


7. 


Leslie Katz 


ABAG Alternate 


8. 


Leland Yee 


ABAG Alternate 


9. 


Jose Medina 




0. 


Gavin Newsom 




1. 


Mark Leno 





Are there significant unpaid positions held by Board members? 

Yes. Supervisor Yaki is the representative of the Board on CSAC. the Califomia State 
Association of Counties. Supervisor Yaki is also the representative of the Board of Supervisors 
on the city's Retirement Board. 



Question 2: How do we start? 

Do we have to do anything before we take office? 

Of course. A Supervisor has to be elected, or be appointed by the Mayor to fill a vacancy. Aides 
have to be selected by the Supervisor. Civil Service rules call the Clerk of the Board the 
"Appointing Authority'" but actually the selection is completely in the hands of the Super\isor. 
Still, the Supervisor has to tell the Clerk of the Board, in advance of the appointment, so he can 
see the aide becomes an employee, and is put on the payroll. After election or appointment. 
Supervisors and aides have to fill out several forms for our personnel clerk. That makes it much 
more likely they will get paid. 

Do we take an oath of office? 

A judge, or other person authorized by state law. administers an oath of office to Supervisors 
before or concurrently with the commencement of the term of office. Forms are provided by the 
Clerk. The oath ordinarily is administered at the Board's inaugural meeting at noon on January' 8 
by a judge or retired judge, designated by the incoming President. In 1997 Justice Stanley Mosk 
of the California Supreme Court administered the oath. 

Do we have to be bonded? 

As required by the Charter, each Supervisor must be bonded for $5,000. The Cit>' will pay the 
costs of the bond. The Clerk completes all necessary arrangements. All the Supervisor has to do 
is fill out an application form and to sign tlie bond. It is ver>' simple, but it is essential this be 
done before the Supervisor is sworn in. Aides are covered by a blanket bond that covers all city 
employees. 

Are there other preliminaries? 

Yes. Supervisors and aides both have to fill out a W-4 form concerning withholding to be filed 
with the Clerk. Aides have to fill out a cit\' application form and have to prove they can legally 
work in the coimtry. Aides and Supervisors both have to decide what health plan they want. 



13 



Several HMO's are available, and the City has a health plan. Routine things. Our skilled 
payroll/personnel clerk will provide the necessary forms and advice. 

Do we have to disclose assets and income? 

Each newly elected or appointed Supervisor and each newly appointed aide must file a Form 
700, Statement of Economic Interests, within 30 days after the date term of office begins. That 
disclosure is required by State law. Forms and instructions are available from the San Francisco 
Ethics Commission or the Clerk of the Board. Supervisors file the form with the Ethics 
Commission. Aides file with the Clerk of the Board. Supervisors and aides also have to file 
these forms annually and when leaving office. 

Wliat kind of assets and income do we have to disclose? 

You have to disclose ownership of real estate in San Francisco, ownership and business positions 
in firms doing business in San Francisco, and income and loans from firms that do business in 
San Francisco. You also have to disclose gifts from a single source of $50 or more during a year. 

What do you mean by a firm doing business in San Francisco? 

That includes firms located outside San Francisco, but which sell products in San Francisco. 

Are there some things we do not have to disclose? 

You do not have to list on your form the ownership of the home you live in, or the loan on that 
home. You do not have to list real estate outside the city unless it is near city owned property. 
You do not have to list ownership of bank accounts and mutual funds. You do not have to list 
the income from government salaries because they are already public record. Do not rely on 
these few words. Read the form and its instructions carefully. 

Who are we disclosing this to? Does anybody get to read these forms? 

Anybody can read these forms. Newspapers about once a year carry a story on filings. Anybody 
can have a copy of the form by paying ten cents a page, a price set by state law. 

Are there restrictions on the gifts and other income we can accept? 

Yes. And it is important that you know the limits. Not only do you have to disclose assets and 
income, including gifts, you are restricted from accepting certain gifts and honoraria. 
Supervisors are prohibited from accepting gifts and honoraria with a combined value of more 
than $290 in a calendar year from a single source. Both Supervisors and aides have to report 
gifts of $50 or more. 

Where can we get more information about these limits? 

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) issues a fact sheet on gifts, honoraria, and 
fravel. We give Supervisors a copy when they take office. Read that fact sheet, ft is important. 
The FPPC enforces these regulations in a tough manner. The San Francisco Ethics Commission 
is also an enforcement agency, ft is made up of five members, one each appointed by the Mayor, 
the Board of Supervisors, the City Attorney, the District Attorney, and the Controller. The 
Commission enforces ordinances concerning campaign contributions, conflicts of interest, 
statements of economic interest, and lobbying. 



14 



Question 3. What is San Francisco 's Legislative Process? 

What are the key steps: 

The first kev step is to write the legislation. Ordinances are normally prepared by the City 
Attorney at the request of a Supervisor, the Mayor, a department head, or a commission, based 
on a draft or other written request. The City Attorney must approve as to form an ordinance 
before its introduction. The City Attorney prepares a brief digest of any ordinance of more than 
two pages. 

Resolutions are normally prepared by a Super\asor or by a department requesting the action. 
More complex resolutions are sometimes prepared by the City Attorney based on a draft 
submitted by a Supervisor or department. Citizens occasionally submit drafts of proposed 
resolutions to individual Supervisors. Resolutions authorizing grant expenditures must be 
accompanied by a Grant Information Sheet and by a "disability access checklist" and before 
submittal be approved by the Mayor and by the Controller's Grants Division. Resolutions 
concerning interim zoning controls and bonds must first be approved by the City Attorney. 

The second kev step is to have the legislation introduced. Supervisors, the Mayor, and 
department heads submit ordinances and resolutions to the Clerk for introduction. Supervisors 
may also introduce requests for committee hearings on a subject matter without having 
legislation. Upon introduction, the President of the Board refers legislation and subject matter 
hearing requests to one of the standing committees for public hearing. 

The third kev step is to have the legislation placed on a committee agenda. The Finance 
Committee meets each Wednesday. Other standing committees normally meet twice a month. 
Committee chairs have wide latitude on whether and when to calendar matters for hearing. 
Legislation is advertised to be heard at a committee meeting. Committees may not consider 
matters which have not been advertised in the official newspaper. 

The fourth kev step is to obtain a favorable recommendation fi-om the committee. The public is 
invited to attend and to speak on any matter before the committee. In order to be sent to the full 
Board, legislation needs the favorable votes of two of the three members of a conmiittee, as 
introduced or as amended by the committee. On rare occasions a committee sends legislation to 
the full board "without recommendation" or with a recommendation of "do not pass." Other 
common committee actions are to "continue for one month," "continue to the call of the chair," 
or "table." If a committee has not acted on an ordinance or resolution within 30 days after its 
referral to committee, any member of the Board may cause the matter to be "called firom 
committee" and considered by the full Board. 

The fifth kev step is to obtain the favorable vote of six of the eleven members of the Board of 
Supervisors. For ordinances, this must be done at two separate meetings. On some matters, such 
as overruling the Planning Commission, eight votes are required. A few urgent or ver\' routine 
resolutions are adopted on the day they are introduced, without being referred to committee. 
Such matters require a unanimous vote of the Supervisors present. 

The sixth kev step is to obtain the approval of the Mayor. Legislation is sent to the Mayor no 
later than the day after approval by the Board. The Mayor then has 1 calendar days to approve 
or veto legislation. If the Mayor approves an ordinance it normally goes into effect 30 days after 
that approval. If the Mayor approves a resolution it goes into effect immediately. If the Mayor 
vetoes legislation, it becomes effective only if eight members of the Board vote within 30 days to 
override the veto. If the mayor neither approves nor vetoes, the legislation is deemed approved. 



15 



This is important. Can you give us more detail? 

Legislation consists of ordinances, resolutions, and occasionally formal motions. In general, an 
ordinance affects citizens while a resolution is directed internally. Because of provisions of state 
law and our Charter, there are many, many exceptions. Each year the Board of Supervisors 
adopts about 500 ordinances and 1,000 resolutions. 

Who prepares legislation? 

Ordinances are prepared by the City Attorney and approved as to form by the City Attorney. A 
Supervisor desiring the writing of an ordinance submits the request on an "introduction" form to 
the Clerk who then asks the City Attorney to prepare the ordinance. Another way, often less 
satisfactory, is for the Supervisor to make the request directly to the City Attorney. 

Resolutions are usually prepared by the office of the sponsoring Supervisor. Many samples are 
in the files. There is standard language used at the end of many resolutions urging the Mayor to 
forward the resolution to appropriate officials. 

Does anyone provide a digest? 

The Board of Supervisors requests the City Attorney's office to provide, as a routine practice, a 
brief digest of each proposed ordinance of more than two pages, preferably so that it is available 
at the time of ordinance introduction. The Board asks that each digest be brief and explain in as 
simple English as possible the effects of the ordinance on existing law. In addition, a cover letter 
fi-om a department head may summarize the legislation. 

Do we have to have legislation before a hearing? 

Sometimes a Supervisor is conscious of a problem but does not have sufficient information about 
the proper solution to request legislation. In such cases a Supervisor may request, either through 
the Clerk, pursuant to Board rules, or at the "roll call" portion of a Board meeting, that a 
committee hearing be held to consider a subject matter. Too often the resulting hearing is 
unsatisfactory. The people attending the meeting do not have specific language on which to 
focus; the committee members usually cannot recommend legislation to the full board. Better 
practice is to prepare legislation, introduce it, and have a hearing on it. It can be amended after 
the hearing if necessary. A new rule requires a Supervisor who wants a hearing on a subject 
matter to submit a description of the purpose of the hearing and a statement of what the 
Supervisor wishes to accomplish. 

How is legislation introduced? 

The following requirements for introductions have been adopted by the Board or are found in 
state law, the Charter, or are necessary for the implementation of those provisions: 

Requests, signed by at least one sponsor, shall be time stamped, and placed in the Clerk's in box. 

When requests for introduction are received by the Clerk which are identical or essentially 
identical to a request received earlier, the Clerk shall not accept the new introduction, but shall 
inform the requesting Supervisor of the fact so that the second Supervisor joins in the 
sponsorship with the earlier sponsor. 

The Clerk requests that all legislation submitted to the Clerk include an original and four copies. 



16 



Ordinances shall be approved as to form by the City Attorney. Ordinances not approved as to 
form will be considered draft ordinances in which case the sponsor should request the City 
Attorney to prepare an approved ordinance. 

Resolutions, if not bond related, need not be prepared or approved by the City Attorney. Grant 
expenditure resolutions shall have the written approval of the Mayor and of the Controller's 
Grants Division. Resolutions concerning state or federal legislation shall have a copy of that 
legislation attached. 

Digests. If an ordinance is more than two pages long, the City Attorney prepares a digest which 
should be submitted at introduction time. 

Planning. An ordinance which amends the Planning Code, or a resolution which imposes interim 
zoning controls, after its introduction shall be referred by the Clerk to the City Planning 
Commission or Department as required without the necessity of a motion. 

Legislation significantly concerning small business or youth is referred to the Small Business 
Commission or the Youth Commission, as appropriate, for comment. 

The text supplied by a Supervisor for a Letter of Inquiry should begin "Supervisor X inquires .. ." 
Resolutions may "urge" but letters from the Board should not "urge." 

A request for factual information from the budget analyst may be made by a member of the 
Board. A request for a management audit or special project should be made through a written 
motion introduced and referred to committee before Board action. The Board adopts an annual 
list of management audits and special projects to be done by the Budget Analyst and 
recommends audits to be imdertaken by the Controller's Audit Division. 

Can Supervisors campaign for ballot measures? 

It is unlawful to use the facilities of the City and County of San Francisco, including the facilities 
of the Board of Supervisors, to support or to oppose, or to solicit funds to support or to oppose, 
any ballot proposition or any candidate. This includes all proposed Charter amendments and 
bond issues on the ballot. Just because the Board voted to put an item on the ballot does not 
mean public assets can be used to support it. 

Thus it is not lawful to use for those purposes the exterior or interior walls of City buildings or 
your City offices, photocopy equipment, word processing equipment, telephones, fax machines, 
desks, the City seal, the time of aides or other City employees or any other City facilities. Do not 
store campaign literature or buttons in your desks or offices concerning either propositions or 
candidates. 

If you have doubts about restrictions, read City Attorney Opinion No. 82-6. If you have doubts 
about the consequences, read the 1997 court decision concerning the actions of former Contra 
Costa County Supervisor Gayle Bishop. 

In summary, if you are going to exercise your first amendment rights to support or oppose any 
candidate or ballot proposition, do not do it inside City buildings and do not do it on City time. 

Aides are sometimes asked by their Supervisors to work on a campaign during evening hours. 
The Clerk does not encourage that practice. The job of an aide is tough enough with a long day. 
Adding campaign duties results in tired aides who may be doing neither job justice. 



17 



Do you have a schedule for the November 1998 election? 

Yes, here is the schedule for Charter amendments. The schedule for Bond issues is similar but 
starts earlier. The schedules for ordinances and declarations of policy are similar to this one for 
Charter amendments. Election day is November 3, 1998. The deadline for submitting Charter 
amendments or bond issues for the June 1 998 election has passed. 

Days 

Before 

Election 



169 May 18, 1998 

139 June 17, 1998 

118 July 8, 1998 

113 July 13, 1998 

106 July 20, 1998 

104 July 21, 1998 

102 July 24, 1998 

92 August 3, 1998 

90 August 5, 1998 



Last regular Board meeting for introduction of Charter amendment in 
writing by a Board member; upon introduction referred to Rules 
Committee. 

First day the Rules Committee could consider under the 30 day rule a 
Charter amendment introduced on the 169* day before election. 

Last day for Special Rules Committee hearing for reference to Board. 

Last day for first appearance on Board agenda of proposed Charter 
amendment. 

Last regular Board meeting for Board's order of submission of Charter 
amendinent to electorate. 

Last day to submit Initiative Petition to Director of Elections. 

Last day for Board to submit Charter amendment to Director of 
Elections. 

Last day to introduce proposed Board of Supervisors' ballot arguments 
concerning Charter amendments. 

Last day for Board, four Supervisors, or Mayor to submit Ordinances 
or Policy Declarations. 



83 August 12, 1998 Last day for Committee hearing on Board's ballot arguments. 

78 August 17, 1998 Last day to adopt motion submitting Board ballot argument. 

77 August 18, 1998 Noon today is last time to submit Board ballot argimients to Director 
of Elections. 

74 August 21, 1998 Appropriate day for Special Rules Committee meeting to consider 
rebuttal arguments. 

71 August 24, 1 998 Last day to adopt motion approving Board's rebuttal arguments. 

70 August 25, 1998 Noon today is last time to submit Board rebuttal ballot argimients to 
the Director of Elections and last day for public to submit paid ballot 
arguments. 



18 



Can the Board of Supervisors submit ballot arguments? 

Yes. A Monday in early August (it will be August 3 in 1998). is usually the scheduled date for 
the introduction of ballot arguments. They must be prepared on forms which are specified by the 
Director of Elections and available from the Rules Committee Clerk. 

Aides are requested to submit ballot arguments on the form specified by the Director of Elections 
and to place them in a ballot argument folder within our '"common" folder on the computer 
network. This is important especially since there are usually not many minutes between the time 
the Board of Supervisors orders ballot arguments transmitted and the deadline imposed by law. 

In preparing ballot arguments you should be conscious of the limit of 300 words for initial ballot 
arguments and 250 words for rebuttal arguments. This word limit includes the phrase "Board of 
Supervisors" which appears at the end of ballot arguments but does not include the phrase at the 
head of the argument entitled "Proponent's Argument in Favor of Proposition X." You should 
show the number of words in each line and the correct total. 

No underlining will appear in the ballot pamphlet. You may provide, however, that words be in 
bold face or italics. Do this by underlining your text and place marginal pencil note "B" or "I" to 
direct the printer to do the underlined portion in boldface or italic. 

The ballot argument should end "Board of Supervisors." It should not also indicate on the 
submittal line "and the XYZ neighborhood group" or "endorsed by" or similar wording because 
there are often not enough minutes to get written neighborhood group approval between Board 
approval and the submission deadline. If it is important to indicate the support of another group 
or person, it should be done in the text of the ballot argument. A written consent of the group or 
person mentioned in the text as an endorser must be submitted with the argument. 

The President of the Board usually introduces motions for ballot arguments concerning all 
propositions for which a Supervisor has not introduced a ballot argument. The Rules Committee 
considers ballot arguments on Charter amendments and ordinances. 

The Board can submit ballot arguments concerning all propositions described in the City and 
County ballot pamphlet. One Supervisor, now no longer on the Board, once suggested that the 
Board should not submit ballot arguments on initiatives. The Board, however, occasionally does 
oppose initiative ordinance proposals. Clearly some initiatives could be so damaging to the City 
that members believe it would be unethical for the Board to stay silent. 

The Board may submit a proponent's ballot argument about any measure on the City ballot, 
unless the measure is sponsored by someone else (e.g. initiative petition or Mayor) who writes a 
proponent's argtiment. The Board may write an opponent's argtiment concerning any measure. 
See Municipal Elections Code Sections 530 and following for guidance. 

Ballot arguments are normally considered by the Rules Committee except that arguments about 
bond issues are normally heard by the Finance Committee. The Clerk routinely distributes ballot 
argument instructions, with samples and necessary forms, and encourages sponsors to submit the 
arguments on time. 

How is legislation introduced? 

An ordinance or resolution is introduced in writing by a member of the Board by presenting it to 
the Clerk, pursuant to Board rules, or by presenting it in a Board meeting. When a department 
head or a commission established by the Charter proposes an ordinance or resolution it is 
normally brought to the office of the Clerk of the Board prior to a Wednesday noon, listed at the 

19 



rear of the Board agenda the following Monday, and considered nominally introduced by the 
Board President at that time. 

Most introductions by Supervisors occur by submitting a form to the Clerk. However, after 
completion of the Board's action on legislation submitted by committees, each member is 
afforded an opportunity during "roll call" to introduce matters they have not previously 
submitted to the Clerk, including ordinances or resolutions for reference to committee, requests 
for hearings to be held to consider specific problems, and requests that letters of inquiry be sent. 
Under recent amendments to the Ralph M. Brown Act (the state law concerning open meetings) 
and San Francisco's Sunshine Ordinance, the Board cannot take action on items not on the 
agenda except in very, very limited circumstances. 

An ordinance or resolution after introduction is referred to one of the standing committees by the 
President in accordance with Board rules. On rare occasions, a measure is referred to a joint 
committee although this is not common and Supervisors generally do not like that to happen. 

The Board has a relatively new rule which provides that legislation which will create or 
significantly change city policy may not be heard by the Board committee until 30 days after its 
introduction. Under the rule, the Clerk, subject to reversal by the Board President, determines 
whether the legislation meets the standard of the rule. 

How are Committee agendas prepared? 

After reference to committee, the proposed ordinance or resolution is then placed on a list of 
matters pending before a committee, a list knovra as the "pending list." Slightly more than a 
week before the committee is to meet, each Supervisor receives copies of the pending lists for all 
committees. Upon receipt of the pending list, sponsors of legislation may inform committee 
chairs whether they desire their measures or requests for hearing to be calendared. The 
committee chair informs the committee clerk which items are to be calendared from the pending 
list. The committee clerk then causes an agenda to be prepared, provides appropriate notice to 
interested individuals and organizations, and advertises the items to be heard at the forthcoming 
committee meeting. The advertisement occurs in the official newspaper of the City. 

How do Committees act? 

A hearing is held on the measure at a committee meeting, usually in the Board's Committee 
hearing room. The committee chair asks the committee clerk to read the item. The clerk then 
reads the title. The sponsor of the legislation (a Supervisor or department representative) then 
briefly describes the purpose of the legislation. Other city officials, such as the Controller and 
Budget Analyst, may testify. The floor is then open for public testimony When the public has 
concluded testimony, the chair declares the hearing closed and the matter in the hands of the 
committee. The committee, perhaps after amendment, may recommend the measure to the full 
Board. The committee may also table a measure or continue it to a date certain or to the call of 
the chair. If the hearing was not on an ordinance or resolution but instead was on a subject 
matter, the committee may "prepare in and report out of committee" appropriate legislation. 

Since neither the committee hearing room nor the Board chamber are the best places to write 
legislation, legislation is normally vmtten in advance. Ordinances must be approved as to form 
by the City Attorney before they can be reported out of committee or considered by the Board. 
A rule requires the text of Code amendments or Charter amendments to be available in the Board 
file for a week prior to hearing. The Sunshine Ordinance limits abrupt committee action. 

If a measure is in committee for more than 30 days it may be called out of committee at a Board 
meeting by a Supervisor and will be considered by the Board at the foUowdng meeting. 

20 



If a measure (other than a Charter amendment), or a request for hearing referred to Committee 
has not been heard for five consecutive calendar months, the Clerk notes the fact on the pending 
list and unless the item is calendared at the next meeting, it is deemed inactive and filed. The 
procedure for reactivating items is contained in the Rules of Order. 

Because public testimony on proposed legislation is heard at Committee meetings, public 
testimony does not occur at meetings of the full Board. Exceptions exist for appeals from City 
Planning Commission actions, other appeals, and for a few other times when full Board hearing 
is required by law. 

Does the Board then act? 

Ordinances must be passed twice by the Board before they become law (except for emergency 
ordinances which must be real emergencies and require 8 votes). When the Board acts favorably 
the first time on an ordinance it is considered "passed on first reading." When the Board acts 
favorably the second time it is considered "finally passed." 

Resolutions and motions are adopted after only one favorable vote. 

What is the role of the Mayor after Board action? 

The Mayor has a specific role, defined by the Charter, after the Board acts. A finally passed 
ordinance or adopted resolution is sent to the Mayor by the end of the day following the Board's 
action. The Mayor then has 10 calendar days in which to act. Normally the Board acts on a 
Monday and the Mayor gets the legislation on a Tuesday. He has until Friday of the following 
week to return the legislation to the Clerk of the Board. The Mayor has three choices. He can 
sign it and return it to the Clerk in which case it becomes law. He can veto the legislation within 
the 10 day period, in which case the Board has 30 days to override the veto by a 2/3 vote. Or the 
Mayor can return the legislation without a signature in which case the legislation becomes law as 
if the Mayor signed it. 

Why would the Mayor return a resolution unsigned? 

If it is a resolution urging him to do something, returning a resolution unsigned is often a signal 
he does not plan to do what he is urged to do. Or the Mayor may be willing to have a resolution 
become law, although he does not really support it. 

Do ordinances become effective as soon as the Mayor signs them? 

Most ordinances become effective at the beginning of the 3 1 st day after approval by the Mayor. 
That is so that during the 30 day period voters can sign a referendum petition. Most resolutions 
become effective on signature by the Mayor. 

What other role does the Mayor have concerning legislation? 

Most ordinances which come to the Board of Supervisors are initiated by the Executive Branch, 
by Department Heads and Commissions. As head of that branch, the Mayor can, if he chooses, 
have great influence over the content of the legislation. The Mayor can also talk to individual 
Supervisors and can talk to the full Board if he desires. The present Mayor is very experienced 
and very skilled in the legislative process, formally and informally. 



21 



How do we write ordinances and resolutions? 

Remember, normally the City Attorney writes ordinances. You write resolutions. Here is a 
checklist for ordinances. 

The original and four copies of the ordinance accompanied by a cover letter requesting 

passage, stating reasons, time factors, the name and telephone number of a contact 
person, and approvals, and two complete sets of any background information. 

First page on paper with red vertical line, and numbered lines, a place for File number in 

upper left, the phrase Ordinance No. printed in upper right. Subsequent pages have red 
vertical line, and line numbers, but no reference to File number or Ordinance number at 
top. 

Double spaced. 

Identifying phrase, not more than five words and not more than one line in brackets [ ] 

on line 1 . 

Title in CAPITAL LETTERS. Title starts with a word ending in "ING" (a gerund), and 

ends with a period (.). 

Nothing is stapled to the ordinance. 

If reference is made to related material, it is not referred to as "copy or exhibit which is 

attached hereto" but instead the language may refer to "on file with the Clerk of the Board 
of Supervisors in File No. (leave at least 13 blank spaces)." 

If appropriation ordinance, includes approval of Mayor. 

If longer than two pages, accompanied by a brief digest prepared by City Attorney. 

If an emergency ordinance, the title ends "AN EMERGENCY MEASURE" and the text 

states the nature of the emergency. 

Filed by Department prior to Wednesday noon for Monday introduction. 

If amending a municipal code, name the code and section numbers in title. 

Contains no Whereas clauses, but may have a findings section. 

Approved as to form by City Attorney. 

Title contains effect of ordinance on existing law. 

Ordinance is confined to one subject which is clearly expressed in title. 

Ordinance begins "Be it ordained by the People of the City and County of San Francisco: 

If the ordinance amends the Administrative or Municipal Code, immediately following 

the title is "NOTE: Additions are underlined . Deletions are indicated by ((double 
parentheses))" or "NOTE: All language is new." 

Lists sponsor of legislation in lower left comer of first page. 

22 



Sample Ordinance 

FILE NO. ORDINANCE NO. 



1 [General Assistance] 

2 AMENDING THE SAN FRANCISCO ADMINISTRATIVE CODE BY ADDING 

3 SECTION 20.56 TO PROVIDE INCREASED ELIGIBILITY FOR PERSONS WHO 

4 ARE TERMINALLY ILL. 

5 Note: This entire section is new. 

6 Be it ordained by the People of the City and County of San Francisco: 

7 Section 1 . The San Francisco Administrative Code is hereby amended by adding 

8 Section 20.56 to read as follows: 

9 SEC. 20.56. EXEMPTION FOR TERMINAL ILLNESS. 

10 Terminally ill applicants with medical verification that such applicant has a 

1 1 remaining life expectancy of six months or less are exempt from: 

12 (a) providing documentation of legal status in the United States; 

13 (b) the provisions of Section 20.55.1 0(h) regarding the cash value of a vehicle, 
14 

1 5 Approved as to Form 

16 Louise H. Renne, City Attorney 

17 By: 

Deputy City Attorney 
18 

19 

20 

21 Supervisor Gaylord Chen 



23 



Here is a check list for resolutions. 

An original and four copies of the resolution accompanied by a cover letter requesting 

passage, stating reasons, time factors, the name and telephone number of a contact 
person, and approvals, and two complete sets of any background information. 

First page on is on paper with red vertical line, numbered lines, place for File number in 

upper left, the phrase Resolution No. is in upper right. 

Subsequent pages red vertical line, no reference to File or Resolution number at top. 

Double spaced. 

Identifying phrase, not more than five words and extending not more than one line, in 

brackets [ ] on line 1 . 

Title in CAPITAL LETTERS. 

Title starts with a word ending in "ing" (a gerund). (Do not start with the word, 

"Resolution"). End the title with a period. 

Nothing is stapled to the resolution. 

Filed by Department prior to Wednesday noon for Monday introduction. 

The word WHEREAS is indented five spaces and, in capital letters, is followed by a 

comma, and then by a capital letter. 

A Whereas clause, if to be followed by another whereas clause, ends "; and,". 

A Whereas clause, if to be followed by a resolved clause, ends "; now, therefore, be it". 

A Resolved clause, if to be followed by another resolved clause, ends "; and, be it". 

Resolved clauses after the first such clause, begin "FURTHER RESOLVED." 

If reference is made to related material it is not referred to as "copy or exhibit which is 

attached hereto" but instead the language may refer to material "on file with the Clerk of 
the Board of Supervisors in File No. (leave at least 13 blank spaces)." 

If reference is made to voiding an earlier resolution it is called "rescinded" (not repealed). 

If bond measure, must be approved as to form by City Attorney. 

If approves a grant expenditure, a resolution must have been approved by the Mayor and 

by the Controller's grants division, and be accompanied by required supporting data. 

If to be forwarded to federal or state legislative or administrative officials, a resolution 

ends similar to: "FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to 
his Honor, the Mayor, with a request that he transmit copies to (e.g. the members of 
Congress from San Francisco and the United States Senators from California) with a 
request they take all action necessary to achieve the objectives of this resolution." 

If endorsing or opposing federal or state legislation is accompanied by a copy of the bill. 

Lists sponsor of legislation in lower left comer of first page. 



24 



Sample Resolution 

FILE NO. RESOLUTION NO. 



1 [Gay Olympics] 

2 URGING THE CALIFORNIA CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO SUPPORT 

3 AN AMENDMENT OF THE AMATEUR SPORTS ACT TO PERMIT THE GAY 

4 GAMES TO USE THE NAME "GAY OLYMPICS." 
5 

6 WHEREAS, San Francisco hosted the International Gay Games in 1982 and in 

7 1986; and. 

8 WHEREAS. Gay Games are planned for the summer of 1990; and, 

9 WHEREAS, The Amateur Sports Act gives control over the use of the word 

10 "Olympics" to the International and United States Olympics Committees which have 

1 1 been unwilling to permit the Gay Games to use the word "Olympics" for these games 

12 although they are known by that name; now, therefore, be it 

13 RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco does hereby urge the 

14 California congressional delegation to support the amendment of the Amateur Sports 

1 5 Act to permit the use of the title "Gay Olympics" by the Gay Games; and, be it 

1 6 FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Mayor is requested to transmit a copy of this 

17 Resolution to the Members of California's Congressional Delegation with a request they 

1 8 take all actions necessary to carry out the intent of this resolution. 
19 

20 

21 Supervisor Harriett Jones 



25 



Do resolutions have to start with words ending in "ing"? 

The titles of all ordinances and resolutions start with a gerund, with a word ending in "ing". In 
legislation they, and the entire titles, are written in capital letters. Here are some common first 
words used in our legislation: 

Accepting, Adopting, Amending, Appointing, Appropriating, Approving, Authorizing, 
Commending, Finding, Nominating, Ratifying, Urging. 

Is there some special end to resolutions? 

They all end with a Resolved clause. There is a special end to resolutions when the City is trying 
to influence federal or state legislation. It is: 

"and, be it 

FURTHER RESOLVED, That his Honor, the Mayor, is requested to transmit a copy of this 
resolution to the members of San Francisco's Congressional Delegation with a request they take 
all action necessary to carry out the intent of this resolution." 

When it is state legislation, instead of federal legislation, the appropriate change in wording 
should be made. Be sure to submit a copy of the legislation when introducing the resolution. 

Why aren 't ordinances effective until 30 days after the Mayor approves them? 

Because the voters have a right to circulate a petition to keep the ordinance from going into effect 
until after a public vote, called a referendtim. 

Does that happen often? 

Since 1960 it has happened about seven times. The subjects included smoking controls. Poly 
High zoning, the Balboa Reservoir, Pineview housing, domestic partners, Phelan Avenue 
rezoning, and a Candlestick Park lease. 

Does the Board decide appeals from the Planning Commission? 

Yes. There are four key dates controlled by Planning Code Section 308.1 . 

1 . Date of Planning Commission Action . Most commonly on a Thursday. 

2. Date Appeal is Filed . The appeal must be filed with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors 
and be signed by the owners of 20% of the land within 300 feet. The appeal must be filed vdthin 
30 days of the Planning Commission action. If the 30th day falls on a non-work day the appeal 
may be filed by 5 p.m. of the following business day. (This is often the case since tiie 30th day 
after a Thursday is a Saturday. In such a case the appeal may be filed by 5 p.m. the foUowdng 
Monday.) The appeal filing fee is $275. 

3. Date Set for Hearing . The Clerk sets a day for the hearing. He may select any date not less 
than 1 nor more than 30 days after the Date the Appeal is Filed. 

4. Date of Board Decision . The Board must act within 30 days of the Date Set for Hearing, 
but if the full Board is not present at the last meeting during that 30 day period, the Board may 
postpone the decision until the full membership is present, but not more than 90 days after the 
Date Appeal is Filed. Failure of the Board to act within these time limits constitutes approval by 
the Board of the Planning Commission action. 



26 



Is there on-line Access to Legislative History? 

The Clerk's office keeps records of the histor\' of each measure introduced before the Board. To 
read legislative history-, follow directions from the menu reached immediately after logging on. 

The information you will get will look like this sample: 

0223 98 From Supr. Jones in Board: Request hearing to consider raising statewide speed 

limit to 75 mph. 

Referred to Housing and Neighborhood Services Committee. 
0319 98 Recommended: "Resolution urging state legislature to raise speed limit to 70 mph." 
0330 98 Continued to 4/6/98. 
0406 98 Adopted. 
0417 98 Approved; Res. No. 336-98. 

What is the difference between "adopted" and "approved"? 

As used in our legislative process, "adopted" refers to a resolution or motion adopted by the 
Board of Supervisors. "Approved" refers to an ordinance or resolution approved by the Mayor. 

Can Supervisors see files about legislation? 

During each meeting there is a container next to the Deputy Clerk holding all files for matters on 
the Board agenda for the day or those being brought up imder Committee Reports. Members 
may request, in the meeting, any file via the Sergeant at Arms and are requested to return the file 
as promptly as possible for use by the Clerk of the Board or by other Supervisors. 

It is important that the files of the Board of Supervisors be kept under control of the Clerk's staiT 
so that Supervisors and members of the public can always be able to use them for reference. 

Staff members, aides, and Supervisors are directed never to remove a file from the area which 
includes the Clerk's office and the photocopy room. 

You are directed never to remove files fi-om cabinets without leaving an out card indicating who 
has taken the file and the date it was taken. You are directed never to remove a file fi-om 
someone's desk without leaving a note as to who has the file. Your assistance in ensuring that 
files are always available to those who need to see them will be appreciated. 

We hear there is something called the Sunshine Ordinance. What is that? 

The Sunshine Ordinance is a combination open meeting law and public records law. Its adoption 
in December 1993, and recent amendments to the State open meeting law, the Ralph M. Brown 
Act, require the Board of Supervisors to give plenty of notice before taking action. We shall give 
you copies of both the Brown Act and the Sunshine Ordinance. You should read them. 

Does the Board have Legislative Analysts? 

Yes. There is a Chief Legislative Analyst, a Senior Legislative Analyst and two Legislative 
Analysts. 



27 



What will they do? 

As determined by a motion of the Board, they shall review: 

1. Legislation which would create or revise major city policy as determined under the 
provisions of Rule 5.40 which generally require a 30 day review period between introduction 
and committee consideration; 

2. Legislation on the For Adoption Without Committee Reference Agenda and, to the extent 
possible, legislation on the Imperative Agenda which has not undergone the normal review 
which the committee process provides; 

3. Additional legislation or issues at the request of any Committee chair on items which have 
been referred to the committee; 

4. Additional legislation or issues as directed by motion of the Board of Supervisors which 
motion has been adopted after reference to committee; 

5. Additional legislation or issues as directed by the Clerk of the Board. 

The Chief Legislative Analyst, however, may determine that some issues have previously 
received sufficient analysis, as, for example, in the case of Plarming Department staff and 
Planning Commission review of rezoning ordinances. 

The Legislative Analysts shall work for the Board as a whole and not for individual members of 
the Board. Individual members of the Board, however, may request analysts for informal advice 
or information. 

Does the Board have a Budget Analyst? 

The City's Budget Analyst works for the Board under contract. A five member joint venture, led 
by Harvey Rose, has an office on the tenth floor of the Fox Plaza at 1390 Market Street. His 
office prepares reports on each item before the Finance Committee and on items before other 
committees with significant fiscal implications. 

What is the budget of the Board of Supervisors? 

It is about $6,700,000. I can give you a breakdown later. 

That makes us ask what is the total City budget and how many City employees are there? 

The City budget is about $3.4 billion, of which $1.5 billion is in the General Fund. We have 
about 25,000 employees. 



28 



Does the City's General Fund get all the money from the Property Tax? 

No, the General Fund gets slightly less than half of the Property Tax. For a $400,000 house the 
tax is distributed like this: 

General Taxes 

City General Fund $2,310 

San Francisco Unified School District 1,139 

San Francisco Community College District 214 

Open Space Acquisition Fund 100 

Library Preservation Fund 100 

Children's Fund 100 

Bay Area Rapid Transit District 25 

Bay Area Air Quality Management District 8 

County Superintendent of Schools 4 

Subtotal $4,000 

Bonded Indebtedness Taxes 

City and County of San Francisco $ 655 
Bay Area Rapid Transit District 90 

San Francisco Unified School District 15 

Subtotal $ 760 

Total $4,760 

How much of the State sales tax does the City get? 

In San Francisco the sales tax is distributed like this: 

State of California 6.00 % 

City and County 1 .00 % 

BART 0.50 % 

S. F. Transportation Authority 0.50 % 

Transportation via MTC 0.25 % 

Schools 0.25 % 

Total 8.50 % 

May a Supervisor be absent from meetings? 

Supervisors who plan to miss a Board meeting or committee meeting should file a form with the 
Clerk stating the date of departure, the date of return, the dates of any Board meetings and 
committee meetings to be missed. It is important that Committee members and clerks know of 
attendance plans. There is no sense in advertising a committee meeting if a quorum will not be 
present. In addition, the Clerk will see to it that absent members are excused from attendance, a 



29 



requirement of the Rules of Order. A copy of the form is in the common folder on our computer 
network. 

If we don 't remember all this, then what? 

On the first Thursday of each month, at 9:00 a.m., the Clerk of the Board conducts one-hour 
workshops on various topics. In odd numbered months, the topic is usually "San Francisco's 
Legislative Process: How to Get Legislation Approved." This session may be useful to new 
aides. The Clerk is willing to provide this information to new Supervisors and new aides in a 
special presentation. On the first Thursday of even numbered months the workshop topic is 
usually some other topic, such as the new city Charter or ballot propositions or management 
styles or similar items primarily of interest to city employees. 

Question 4. What are Board meetings like? 

When does the Board meet? 

Board meetings are held each Monday aftemoon except when Monday is a holiday in which case 
the meeting is held on the following business day. The Board usually does not meet on the 
Monday between Christmas and the end of the year, nor on the Monday after Thanksgiving. In 
1 997 the Board canceled its meetings the day after Labor Day and the Monday after Labor Day 
and those of its committees for a 20-day period in late August and early September. A similar 
schedule has been adopted for 1998. 

Meetings begin at 2:00 p.m. The names of Supervisors who arrive late are recorded in the 
Journal of Proceedings (minutes) as required by the Rules. Median adjournment time in 1981 
was 7:45 p.m. But meetings are getting shorter. In 1994 the median adjournment time was 4:57 
p.m., in 1995 was 4:15 p.m., in 1996 was 4:07 p.m., and in 1997 was 3:54 p.m. Very lengthy 
meetings occur when the economy is hot and there are many appeals fi^om Planning Commission 
decisions. Only three 1997 meetings lasted beyond 6:00 p.m. A meeting in July 1988 lasted 
until 3:06 a.m. That meeting occurred on the last day for adoption of the annual budget and the 
last day to submit Charter amendments to the voters for the November election, the traditional 
long meeting yearly. 

Does the Board have Rules? 

Supervisors should become familiar with the legislative rules through reading the Rules of Order 
of the Board. Although the Board uses Roberts Rules of Order on points not covered by the 
Board's Rules, the most fi-equently used parliamentary provisions are found in the Board's Rules. 
The Board adopted new rules effective July 1, 1996, because of the new Charter. The new rules 
are in relatively plain English, not in parliamentaryese. 

Who makes up the agenda and when do we see it? 

The Clerk makes up the Board agenda based on Rules of Order. Board meeting agendas are 
based on actions of previous Board meetings and on referrals from committees, so you will know 
much of the agenda content in advance of the agenda preparation. The agenda includes 
recommendations made by committees which meet through Wednesday. Early Thursday 
aftemoon draft agendas are available to Supervisors and staff members in paper copies and on 
the computer. Friday noon printed agendas are available at the counter of the Board of 



30 



Supervisors and on the internet. Agendas appear in the official newspaper, currently the San 
Francisco Independent, in Saturday's editions. 

How do Supervisors speak? Can they just speak into the microphone? 

Microphones of Supervisors are turned on when the Supervisor is recognized by the President. 
Members seek recognition by raising their large microphones. Board Rules limit members to ten 
minutes in debate and to two recognitions per question. Supervisors now have a choice of two 
microphones to use in the Chamber. One is the microphone most Supervisors use. The second is 
a new lavaliere microphone which can be hung around the neck, attached to a lapel, or held in 
one's hand. If both microphones are connected to the system, the only one which will operate is 
the lavaliere. To use the larger microphone it is necessary to unplug the lavaliere microphone. 
That is done by pushing the latch on top of the jack into which the microphone is plugged. Even 
if a Supervisor uses the lavaliere microphone, the Supervisor should raise the larger microphone 
to request recognition. Supervisors who use the lavaliere microphone, should remember that 
they mustxzkt if off or unplug it before moving away from the desk. 

Can a Supervisor abstain? 

Supervisors must vote on every matter unless they have a conflict of interest of a nature which 
requires them to refrain from voting. When a Supervisor believes he or she will be required not 
to vote, the Supervisor should consult with the City Attorney or Deputy City Attorney in advance 
of the meeting at which the matter will be considered and prior to the vote should ask the Board 
to excuse the member from voting for a specified reason. 

How many votes are required to pass legislation? 

Six votes are required to pass ordinances, resolutions and motions unless a greater number is 
required by state law. Charter provision, ordinance, or Board Rule. The Rules of Order contain 
an index to votes required on various matters. A majority of those present is required to amend 
proposed measures and to approve most parliamentary motions. 

Is there a parliamentarian? 

The Clerk of the Board is the parliamentarian who advises the Board on procedure; the Board 
President makes parliamentary rulings subject to appeal as provided in the Rtiles. 

Can the Board meet privately in "Executive Session "? 

Closed sessions of the Board are permitted in very limited cases by California's Ralph M. Brown 
Act and the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance for such matters as client-attorney discussions 
concerning litigation (not legislation) and for discussions with City representatives in labor 
negotiations. Most of the closed sessions are in committee when a deputy city attorney reviews 
with committee members proposed settlements of litigation. 

Can members of the public testify at Board meetings? 

The Board's committee system is designed to provide full opportunity for members of the public 
to be heard on proposed legislation. Non-city officials are not permitted to address the full Board 
except by unanimous consent of the Board (almost never granted) and at public hearings which 
are required by law to be held by the full Board. 



31 



What if the President is absent? Who is vice-president? 

If the President is absent from a meeting, the Clerk opens the meeting and entertains a motion to 
select a President pro tempore. By long standing tradition the President pro tempore is the 
member who will be last on "roll call for introductions," and last to vote on all items that day. 

What is the assignment of Chamber Seats? 

Rule 1.14 of the Board of Supervisors provides that vacant seats in the chamber shall be assigned 
on the basis of seniority, and that Supervisors shall not involuntarily be displaced, except that a 
retiring president when reached in seniority may choose to occupy either a vacant seat or a seat 
occupied by a Supervisor with less seniority. 

When a Supervisor leaves office, the Clerk polls Supervisors, in seniority order, as to their 
preferences. Some Supervisors like to be near the President and the Clerk. Some Supervisors 
like to be near the audience. Some Supervisors like to be near a door. Some Supervisors like to 
be near the department heads or the press. 

A selection of seats is made each time the composition of the Board changes (after elections and 
appointments), along with the selection of offices and parking spaces, all based on seniority. 

Does the Board have a Sergeant at Arms? 

Yes. A Sergeant at Arms is present at each Board meeting. She assists the Clerk and 
Supervisors at the meeting. Each desk in the Legislative Chamber is equipped with a page 
button to summon the Sergeant at Arms for such assistance as may be desired. 

Can aides come on the Board floor? 

Aides and assistants should be instructed not to come onto the floor of the Board during 
meetings. If there is a need to communicate with a Supervisor, the aide should come to the 
doorway or rail and wait. The Sergeant at Arms will deliver messages or items to the 
Supervisors. 

Can Supervisors say whatever they want during a debate? 

Supervisors have virtually no immunity against slander suits. Supervisors should act as if they 
have no immunity. They should not make statements which defame or harm individuals. 
Supervisors should be aware of Rule 4.12 which provides "No Supervisor in debate shall, 
directly or indirectly, by any form of words, impute to another Supervisor or to other Supervisors 
any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Supervisor." 

When do we get minutes of Board and Committee meetings? 

About a half hour after the end of a Board meeting, the Clerk puts the results of the meeting in a 
voice mail box reached by calling 554-5555. The voice mail message simply states that all items 
on the agenda were approved without amendment, by unanimous votes, except listed items. The 
list includes information on dissenting votes, items amended, and items continued or referred to 
committee. 

By about 9:30 a.m. the morning after each Board meeting, we distribute a marked agenda 
showing the action taken and the vote on each item. By early Wednesday we distribute 
"Legislation Introduced," a list of items not on the agenda which were infroduced. In addition to 
the title of the legislation, the document shows to which committee the items were referred. By 

32 



the end of Wednesday, we distribute a document called "Clerk to Act" which includes details 
about amendments and which lists requests from Supervisors for preparation of legislation and 
letters of inquir>' to departments. Those documents include information about all Board actions. 

A draft of the formal minutes, or Journal of Proceedings, is available within ten working days of 
the meeting. The formal Journal is sent to the Board for approval later, after extensive review. 

The results of committee meetings are typically distributed the day after the meeting. They are 
shown on a "marked agenda." They show the action taken, for example "Recommended" or 
"Tabled," and the vote. 

Question 5. What are the Board committees? 
What are the standing committees? 

These are the six standing committees in 1998: 

Finance Committee 

Rules Committee 

Economic Development, Transportation and Technology Committee 

Health. Family and Environment Committee 

Housing and Neighborhood Services Committee 

Parks and Recreation 

Who are the present committee members? 

All committees are three member committees with a chair, vice chair, and third member. I shall 
give you a list of the committees, the names of the members, the names of the committee clerk, 
and Ae meeting days and times. The Finance Committee usually meets each week. Other 
committees meet once or twice a month. It is a good idea to keep this list handy on your bulletin 
board or other nearby place, along with the list of Supervisors and aides and their telephone 
numbers. 

How does the Board choose its committee members? 

The President of the Board assigns members to Board standing committees. In some circles that 
is considered to be a great power, but many Presidents have considered selection of committee 
members to be the most difficult part of the job. 

Has the committee structure always been the same? 

No. It has varied greatly. The Board has often amended the Rules to approve a new committee 
structure request of a new President. These have been recent standing committees: 

1997 

1 . Finance Committee 

2. Rules Committee 

3. Economic Development, Transportation and Technology Committee 

4. Health, Family and Environment Committee 

5. Housing and Neighborhood Services Committee 



33 



1993-1996 

1 . Budget 

2. Economic Vitality and Social Policy 

3. Government Efficiency and Labor 

4. Health, Public Safety and Envirormient 

5. Housing and Land Use 

6. Rules 

In 1996 there were also three special committees: (1) The Select Committee on Base Closures 
concerned with the closures of the Presidio, Hunters Point, and Treasure Island, (2) The Select 
Committee on Implementation of the 1996 Charter, and (3) The Select Committee on Municipal 
Public Power concerned with whether the City should distribute electricity in San Francisco. 

1990-1992 



1. 

2. 
J. 
4. 


Finance 

City Services 

Economic and Social Policy 

Administration and Oversight 




1. 

2. 
3. 
4. 
5. 
6. 
7. 


Finance 

Government Operations 

Human Services 

Land Use 

Public Works 

Rules 

Oversight 


1987-1989 
1982-1986 



1 . Finance 

2. Rules and Legislation 

3. Planning, Housing and Development 

4. Civil Service and General Administration 

5. Human Services 

6. Health 

7. Public Works 

8. Public Protection 

9. Culture and Recreation 

10. Energy and Environment 

1 1 . Traffic and Transportation 

1981 and Before 

1 . Finance 

2. Fire, Safety and Police 

3. Planning, Housing and Development 

4. State and National Affairs 

5. Governmental Services 

6. Health and Environment 

7. Streets and Transportation 

8. Legislative and Personnel 

9. Community Services 

10. Rules 

1 1 . Urban and Consumer Affairs 



34 



How do Committee Clerks relate to Committee Chairs? 

They generally work very well together. Each greatly depends on the other. Committee Clerks 
keep a "pending list" of all items which have been referred to committee, a list which Chairs use 
to decide what will be on the next agenda. Committee Clerks also notify Chairs about deadlines 
for consideration of certain legislation. In selecting items to be heard at a committee meeting, 
Chairs can only select items which have been referred to the committee. In addition, committees 
can only consider items on the agenda which have been advertised in the official newspaper. The 
greatest problem of Clerks is that Chairs are occasionally late in choosing what should be on the 
agenda. The decision should be at least a week in advance of the meeting so that agendas can be 
prepared and legal advertisements ordered. 



^ 



^ Question 6. What is the Official Role of the Board President? 

How is the Board President chosen? 

The Board President is the Supervisor who received the highest number of votes at the most 
recent election. Although Supervisors serve four year terms, a Supervisor can be President for 
only two years since after a Supervisor serves two years, another election is held and someone 
else becomes the Supervisor who received the highest number of votes at the most recent 
election. When district elections start in the year 2000, the members of the Board will choose 
their President. 

Is it common in cities that the top vote getter becomes President? 

It is not common. In San Francisco the Board used to choose its own President, as most 
organizations do. In 1945 the Board chose as its President the Supervisor who had the highest 
number of votes at the most recent election. That happened again at the next election. An 
occurrence became a practice which became a tradition. When the City adopted district elections 
in the mid 1970s, the top vote getter became meaningless since the competition for each 
Supervisor was different. So the top vote getter idea was not used then. The Board chose its 
own President. WTien the Board returned to at-large elections, the first President chosen was not 
the top vote getter. Friends of the top voter getter then put a proposed Charter amendment on the 
June 1982 ballot to provide that the top vote getter would automatically become President. 
Voters approved the proposal. 

Does that selection method cause problems? 

Some people think choosing a President that way results in fme Presidents, but causes friction 
among Supervisors. They note that every two years some Supervisors are running against each 
other. Supervisors cannot run as a group and say "Vote for Us. We are doing a good job." 
Many of them say "Vote for Me (so I can be President)." Although the competing Supervisors 
may work together as if there was no competition, their supporters may be less friendly. Even if 
the resulting President is a good one, the competition sometimes must result in some bad feeling. 
Surely sometimes that carries over to after the campaign. 



35 



Do incumbents have the best chance of election, and thus one of them is likely to be the top 
vote getter and thus the new President of the Board? 

Perhaps, but the top vote getter could be a non-incumbent. In 1 969 when Dianne Feinstein was 
first elected to the Board, she was the top vote getter and thus became President of the Board. 

If the President leaves the Board in mid term, does the Board choose a successor? 

Yes. When Supervisor Ward left the Presidency to become Assessor, the Board selected 
Supervisor Shelley to serve as President during the remaining nine months in the term. About 
four years later, when Shelley left the Presidency to become a member of the State Assembly, the 
Board selected Supervisor Kaufman, who was to become President January 8 anyway, to serve as 
President during the remaining 37 days in the term until that date. 

Does the President have special duties? 

The President has the power to: 

1. Appoint the members and chairs of all Board committees. This is traditionally done after 
some consultation with Board members. 

2. Refer ordinances and resolutions to specific committees. This is traditionally done by a 
Deputy Clerk of the Board, based on Rules of Order adopted by the Board, and subject to 
reassignment by the President. 

3. Assign offices and assign seats in the legislative chamber to members of the Board. As the 
result of a rule change, the President now must follow seniority in making these assignments. 
Thus the Clerk actually polls the Supervisors as to their preferences. 

4. Approve requests for use of the legislative chamber. Standards for granting such requests 
have been established, in part by the Rules of Order and in part by an agreement between the 
President and the Clerk. So the Clerk actually gives the approval in the name of the President. 

5. Approve requests for committee meetings to be held on Mondays after 12:30 p.m. 

6. Decide all questions of order at Board meetings, usually after consultation vsath the 
parliamentarian (Clerk of the Board), and subject to appeal to the Board by any member. 

7. Eject unruly people from a Board meeting. 

By virtue of the office, the President has some ftinctions on other bodies. The President of the 
Board, for example, is a member of the Retirement Board, or may appoint another. 

Some mail is addressed to the President, as a matter of assumed protocol, which is really 
intended for the Board. The Clerk suggests the President promptly give him that mail. 

The President sometimes gets documents to sign as President. The Clerk suggests that the 
President give such documents to the Clerk for research into whether the Board has adopted the 
necessary resolution approving the action, or whether the President has other authority to sign. 

Seniority is used, by Rule, in determining the assignment of seats in the legislative chamber, 
offices, and parking spaces, and for appointments to compensated commissions. Thus the Clerk, 
in the name of the President, polls Supervisors as to preferences. Seniority is also used by 



36 



custom in the order of presentation of in memoriams after those for the full Board or the 
President are read. 

Does the President appoint Commission members? 

Yes, but only to one commission. The President appoints three members to the Building 
Inspection Commission: a residential tenant, a residential landlord, and a member of the general 
public. The President also appoints a member to the Retirement Board. 

Do you have any special advice for Board Presidents? 

Probably nothing that is not obvious. The President should be a leader. That requires the 
President to try to get a consensus, to try to get the Board to agree, not just on proposals of the 
President, but to agree on actions of the full Board. Some thoughtful residents of San Francisco 
think there is no Board of Supervisors, there are simply 1 1 Supervisors. Presidents should 
encourage the Board to act as a body. Presidents should use the words "we" and "our" much 
more than "I" and "my". 

Who have been recent Board Presidents? 

1981--1982 John L. Molinari* 

1 982-- 1982 Quentin L. Kopp* 

1983-1984 Wendy Nelder 

1985-1986 John L. Molinari 

1987-1988 Nancy G. Walker 

1989-1990 Harry G.Britt 

1 99 1 - 1 992 Doris M. Ward* * 

1 992- 1 992 Kevin Shelley* * 

1 993 - 1 994 Angela Alioto 

1 995- 1 996 Kevin Shelley* * * 

1 996- 1 998 Barbara Kaufman* * * 

* Molinari served as President until June 1 982 when a Charter amendment became effective 
requiring the top vote getter in the most recent election to become president; Kopp then 
served imtil the following January 8. 

** Ward served imtil April 1992 when she resigned to become Assessor; Shelley was then 
selected by his colleagues and served as President until the following January 8. 

*** Shelley served as President until December 1996 when he resigned to become a member of 
the State Assembly. Kaufman was then elected by her colleagues to serve as President 
imtil the following January 8 when she became President as the result of having been the 
top vote getter in November. 

Question 7. Does the Board honor people? 

What kinds of honors does it give? 

The Board awards certificates of honor, letters of commendation, and adjourns meetings in 
memory of persons who recently died. 

Each member of the Board of Supervisors is authorized to issue up to five Certificates of Honor a 
month without Board action. The limit is established not simply to save money, but so that the 
walls of San Francisco homes and businesses will not become so papered with certificates that 
they become meaningless. The Board has a printed certificate which is personalized then placed 

37 



in an attractive folder. Certificates of Honor can now easily be printed on a computer, even by 
aides who may be inexperienced in word processing. 

Supervisors may issue letters of commendation without limit. They are especially appropriate 
for groups of people. A format has been prepared for letters of commendation on our computer 
for easy printing. 

At the end of each Board meeting, the Clerk reads the names of persons in whose memory the 
Board is adjourning. Names should be submitted to the Clerk on a form designed for that 
purpose. Supervisors and their aides should be especially careful to be certain the name of the 
person who died is spelled correctly and legibly. We require that either an obituary be submitted 
or that someone certify as to the correct spelling, and to the fact that the person actually has died. 
We greatly prefer the information be typed. If you do not have all the information before the 
meeting, we will return the form to your office promptly after the meeting. It is helpftil for us to 
have the form, even if incomplete, before noon on the day of the meeting. For some reason, 
more forms are submitted on Monday than on all other days of the week combined. 

Question 8. How does the Board relate to the Executive Branch? 

Does the Mayor come to Board meetings? 

In recent years the Mayor has attended Board meetings only about twice a year, one being the 
first Monday in October when the Mayor delivers the "State of the City" message. The Mayor 
has the right to speak but not vote. 

May Supervisors or aides telephone departments to get information? 

Members of the Board of Supervisors and their aides must often make inquiry of the various 
departments of the city in order to obtain information necessary to aid in the preparation of 
legislation or to satisfy citizen concerns. For minor matters this should be handled through a 
telephone call. The formal process, imder which members of the Board at a Board meeting ask 
that a letter of inquiry be sent by the Clerk to a department head, is satisfactory but sometimes 
takes longer than is desirable and places a burden on department heads to prepare a written reply 
when one is really not needed. So aides often keep a list of key department people to telephone. 
Telephoning saves time for the Supervisors, their aides, the Clerk of the Board, and department 
heads. In making use of such a list. Board members and their aides must be mindful of the 
necessity of limiting such contacts to inquiry and to avoid Charter prohibited interference in 
administrative affairs. On July 1, 1996, when the new Charter became effective, it gave the 
Board and its members more latitude in contacts with City departments. The Board and its 
members, however, are still prohibited from interfering in matters concerning personnel and 
contracts. 

Can Supervisors, or the full Board, issue orders to Departments? 

No. The Charter prohibits Supervisors from even suggesting personnel actions or confract 
actions to department heads. The Board does have the power of inquiry. So Supervisors 
sometimes inquire fairly strongly. When a Supervisor requests the Clerk to write a letter of 
inquiry on behalf of the Board, the requesting Supervisor should submit a written memorandum 
outlining the subject matter of a request. The text should begin "The Supervisor Inquires ..." 
Letters of inquiry are sent routinely to department heads or the City Administrator, not to 
subordinates. 



38 



Do you have standard wording for letters of inquiry? 

Yes. we do. The letters are worded like this: 

Dear : 

I am writing at the direction of the Board of Supervisors concerning [usually a one or two 
word subject]. 

At the initiative of Supervisor [first and last names] the Board inquires [inquires is the 
important word] . 

Your early response to this inquiry, with a copy to Supervisor [last name only] will be 
greatly appreciated. 

Sincerely, 

John L. Taylor 
Clerk of the Board 

Who have been the recent Mayors in San Francisco? 

These are the recent Mayors and when they were elected. 

1995 Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. 
1991 Frank Jordan 
1987 ArtAgnos 
1983 Dianne Feinstein 
1 979 Dianne Feinstein 
1 975 George Moscone 
1971 Joseph Lawrence AHoto 
1 967 Joseph Lawrence Alioto 
1 963 John Francis Shelley 
1959 George Christopher 

Can you say a few words about each of them? 

Remember that I am a neutral. So this will not be a comment on quality. 

George Christopher is retired, but still occasionally comes to functions. 

John Francis Shelley was a former Congressman, was the husband of Thelma Shelley, long 

time General Manager of the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, and the father of 

former Supervisor Kevin Shelley. 

Joe Alioto for many years was a prominent San Francisco attorney. He was the father of former 

Supervisor Angela Alioto. 

George Moscone, former member of the Board of Supervisors and former State Senator, was 

killed in his office on November 27, 1978. by a resigned Supervisor, Dan White, who then killed 

Supervisor Harvey Milk a few minutes later. 

Dianne Feinstein was a Supervisor for nine years, served as Board President before becoming 

Mayor upon the assassination. She is now the senior United States Senator from California. 

Art Agnos was a member of the State Assembly before becoming Mayor. He is now Regional 

Administrator for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Renewal. 



39 



Frank Jordan was a career police officer, becoming police chief, and then retiring before he was 
elected Mayor. 

Willie Brown was a member of the California Assembly for 31 years and its speaker for 14 
years, the longest service in that position in the State's history, before his December 1995 
election as Mayor. 

Are relations between the Executive Branch and the Board changing? 

Certainly. The style and skills of the present Mayor differ from those of his predecessors. The 
new Mayor is very experienced in the legislative process. He is more politically in tune with 
members of the Board of Supervisors. He consults more with and talks to members of the Board 
of Supervisors. In addition, the 1996 Charter substantially changed the relations. It brought the 
two branches closer. The Mayor is newly able to introduce legislation directly. The Mayor and 
the Board have to work together more closely. 

Question 9. How have things changed under the new Charter? 

Why did the City need a new Charter? 

In November 1995 the voters adopted a new Charter, the first since 1932. The 1932 Charter was 
adopted at a time when, all over the country, voters were more concerned about stopping 
corruption than they were above solving urban problems. But right after World War II many 
cities adopted more modem charters, providing for Council-Manager plans or Strong Mayor 
plans. These charters were designed to give officials the power to get things done, and at the 
same time hold the officials accountable. For many years, many San Franciscans agreed the City 
needed a new charter; they simply could not agree on what it would say. 

When did the new Charter go into effect? 

The 1996 Charter went into effect on July 1, 1996, although a few provisions went into effect 
over the three months following. The Recorder's office did not merge with the Assessor's office 
until the first of July 1997. 

What happened to the language in the old Charter? 

Some of it was put in the new Charter, some of it was put in an appendix of the new Charter 
where it has the same legal effect as if it were in the main body of the Charter (but it makes the 
main section more streamlined), some of it was put in the Administrative Code as ordinances 
which can be amended by the Board of Supervisors, and some of it was simply deleted as 
obsolete. 

How did the overall city government change under the new Charter? 

The City government became more centralized. The Mayor's position is stronger. The Board's 
position is stronger. Department heads are stronger. Commissions are less strong. They have 
plenty to do in the policy arena, but they no longer administratively direct their departments. 

What are the keys to see how the Charter works? 

I think there are two keys. One is how the Mayor and the City Administrator work together. 
Under the new Charter the City Administrator performs such tasks on a citywide basis as the 
Mayor directs. The Mayor can leave the City Administrator weak, with little to do, so as not to 



40 



interfere with the Mayor. On the other hand, the Mayor could make the City Administrator 
strong, a real partner with the Mayor. 

Which would you like to see? 

I would hope the Mayor someday will have full confidence in his City Administrator, a manager 
who then runs the internal operations of the city, leaving the Mayor enough time to deal with the 
Board of Supervisors and with his tremendous external responsibilities and time pressures. 

What is the second key to how the new Charter works? 

I think the second key is in the relations between department heads and their commissions. The 
department heads run the departments. The new Charter says the administration and 
management of each department within the executive branch shall be the responsibility of the 
department head. Commissions and commissioners are prohibited from interfering in the 
operations of the department. Commissions adopt an annual statement of purpose for review and 
approval by the Mayor and by the Board of Supervisors, and make an annual report to the Mayor 
and the Board of Supervisors. Existing commissioners and existing department heads may 
develop new relationships, new ways of working together. 

How have the relations between the Board of Supervisors and departments changed? 

Under both the old and new Charters, the Board is prohibited from interfering in department 
administration concerning personnel and concerning contracts. Under the old Charter the Board 
could not get involved in other departmental administrative matters, except to inquire. But under 
the new Charter the Board can be involved in department administration, other than personnel 
and contract matters. Still, if the Mayor and the Board are going to hold department heads 
responsible for the effective operation of their departments, then the Board had better let the 
department heads make the administrative decisions. 

Is the Board involved in appointments by the Mayor? 

Yes. The Mayor appoints commissioners. Board confirmation is not required, but the Board can 
reject the appointments. The appointment of the Cit>' Administrator by the Mayor for a five year 
term (compared to the 10 years for previous Chief Administrative Officers) will be subject to 
Board approval. The removal of the City Administrator by the Mayor requires confirmation by 
the Board, although under the new Charter the removal can occur without cause. 

Are there different fiscal provisions in the\iew Charter involving the Board? 

Yes. The Board now needs only a majority vote to adopt the budget, instead of the previous 2/3 
vote. Previously, the Board could only lower proposed appropriations. Under the new Charter, 
the Board can raise them too, if there is enough money. The Board appoints an Audit Committee 
to work with the outside auditor. 

Are there other changes for the Board under the new Charter? 

Yes. There are many other changes, many of them minor. Here are some of them: 

• The Board adopts changes to the general plan, as most city councils and boards of supervisors 
do. The present general plan (now called a master plan) was adopted by the Planning 
Commission with no review by the Board of Supervisors. 

• The Board had to adopt an elections code, but it used mostly existing language in other codes. 

• The Board is required to have a sunshine ordinance concerning open meetings and public 
records, but it already has one. 

41 



The Board will not be able to adopt resolutions without referral to committee by only eight 

votes. A unanimous vote is now required. 

To waive the statute of limitations, instead of nine votes being required, only six votes are 

needed. 

Emergency ordinances, rarely adopted, will be reviewed by the Board again after approval 

since they will automatically expire on the 61st day following passage. Eight votes, instead of 

the previous nine, are required to approve emergency ordinances. 

The Board will review rates and charges submitted by the Mayor within 30 days. 

The Board will determine which city officials shall famish fidelity bonds and the amounts and 

shall annually review those requirements. 

Each Supervisor previously had two aides, one classified as Administrative Assistant, one as 

Legislative Aide. Under the new Charter the two aides have the same title. Legislative 

Assistant. [A third aide, a "Constituent Liaison" or "Special Assistant," is not provided for in 

the Charter.] 

The Board receives annual reports and rules and regulations adopted by commissions. 

The Board refers more matters to the Plarming Department for comment before the Board 

acts. 

The Board receives from the Human Rights Commission reports on the implementation of 

departmental affirmative action plans. 

The Board reviews, and could disapprove, proposed reorganizations within the executive 

branch. 

The Board establishes the level of compensation for each commission. 

The Board gives "serious consideration" to rewarding departments which have exceeded 

revenue goals or exceeded operational goals and spent less than projected. 

The Board adopts an ordinance providing for the format of the voters' pamphlet. 

The Board approves election fees each year. 

The Board designates positions exempt fi-om civil service. 

There are other changes, but this will give you a sample. 

Do you conduct seminars or workshops on the new Charter? 

Yes. I conducted several workshops between the date the Charter was adopted and the date it 
went into effect eight months later. I shall occasionally do it again as part of the first Thursday 
of each month workshop series in the Legislative Chamber of the Board of Supervisors in Room 
404 of 401 Van Ness Avenue. You are welcome to attend. I try to explain not only the Charter 
provisions, but the real impact. I describe what I think are the key issues in the implementation 
process. The new Charter has made changes in the lives of many city officials. 

Where can we get copies of the new Charter? 

Copies of the Charter are available for a fee in looseleaf form with updates from our code 
publisher, and are available for viewing in city libraries. They are also available on the Internet 
at http://www.ci.sf.ca.us/bdSupvrs. If you are elected to be a Supervisor or appointed as an aide, 
we shall give you one without charge. 

Question 10. What will our offices be like? 

Do we get individual offices? 

Each Supervisor has a private office on the third floor of the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness 
Avenue, the interim City Hall. Three aides share an office. Seven of the Supervisors reach their 



42 



offices by passing through offices of their aides. Four Supervisors have offices across an inner 
hallway from their aides. 

How are offices assigned? 

Offices are assigned to Supervisors and aides on the basis of seniority. 

How is mail handled? 

Incoming mail is placed in individual trays in the Clerk's office. Outgoing mail is placed in trays 
for that purpose in the Clerk's office. Letters addressed to the Board as a whole appear on a list 
at the rear of the weekly Board agenda. Supervisors and aides should read the list so they can 
read any mail in which they are especially interested. 

How are visitors admitted to offices? 

Supervisors' offices are kept locked when not in use. Visitors are received at the reception 
counter in the Clerk's office, and are admitted only upon the Supervisor's or aide's request. 

What things does a Supervisor get paid by the central board budget and what must be paid by 
a Supervisor's "Legislative Expense Account"? 

The central board budget pays for things commonly used by every office. That includes standard 
stationery, pens, pencils, staples, telephone message pads, and similar items on an as needed 
basis. Supplies ordered in very large quantities, however, may be charged to the legislative 
expense account. 

The legislative expense account may be used for purchases related to legislation which are not 
used by all offices. Included are such things as trips to conferences, new furniture, extra fancy 
stationery, fax machines, membership dues in government (not political) organizations, 
newspapers, messenger services, certificate of honor folders, pager rental, cellular phone rental, 
purchase and maintenance of computer equipment not in the standard equipment assigned to 
offices, work orders for painting, cleaning or modifications to offices. 

The legislative expense account is $5,000 a year for each Supervisor. A Supervisor taking office 
in the middle of a fiscal year receives a proportionate amount. Thus a Supervisor taking office at 
noon on January 8 could use $2,377 for the remainder of the fiscal year. The legislative expense 
account of the President of the Board is an additional $5,000 a year. The legislative expense 
account of the representative to CSAC is an additional $1,000 a year. 

Do you give Supervisors copies of the Municipal Codes? 

We can provide Supervisors with copies of the Charter and with copies of various chapters of 
the Municipal Code and the Administrative Code. The problem is that many offices do not keep 
the codes up to date by inserting the amendment pages which arrive each quarter. A code which 
is out of date is a hazard. The Charter is available on the Board's computer network. Other 
codes soon will be on the network. Several Supervisors do not keep codes, or keep only their 
favorites, and review the various codes in the office of the Clerk or in the law librar>' on the 
foxirth floor of the Veterans Building. Codes may not be taken fi-om the Clerk's reception area, 
but copies of needed sections may be made. 



43 



Does each office have a photocopy machine? 

No. We have a large, central photocopy machine. Use of the machine requires an access code, 
provided by the Clerk and changed occasionally to discourage unauthorized use. The number of 
copies made by each Supervisor's office is recorded. The machine has a collator, automatic feed, 
levels of reduction, two sources of paper (one for 11 inch long paper and one for 14 inch long 
paper). We discourage the use of paper other than 1 1 inch paper and the use of colored paper. 

What kind of computer system does the Board have? 

The department has a LAN (Local Area Network) with Windows95. The word processing 
software is Microsoft Word. The network provides Supervisors' offices with the ability to 
exchange information with other Supervisors, with other city offices, and with the world. 

Each office has three Pentium PCs with Windows95 and connected to the LAN with eventual 
connection to the City-wide network and to the Internet. The standard word processing software 
is Microsoft Word. Supervisors may purchase additional or different equipment if they prefer 
from their legislative expense accounts. Some aides prefer the Macintosh computer. We 
strongly discourage that. We will not connect the Macs to the LAN nor maintain the Macs. We 
simply do not have the resources to do that. You will find the new Windows 95 to be so much 
like the Mac that Mac loyalists will find it easy to use Windows95. 

The Board also has a very good Wang computer. Wang used to be the Cadillac of word 
processing systems, but no longer is. We have phased out of the use of the Wang for word 
processing, but Wang is still active for access to data bases. The Wang will be gone before we 
move back to City Hall. 

Do we have a computer expert in the department? 

Moe Vazquez is our Management Information Specialist. Alvin Moses is his assistant. New 
aides are strongly urged to contact them immediately in order to get log on identification and 
passwords. Naturally aides should not attempt word processing activity without being 
reasonably sure they know what they are doing so that important documents are not deleted from 
the system and so that printers and other equipment are not damaged. 

Are there protocols or ethics about the computer system? 

Yes. The following are system requirements for the use of the computer system of the Board of 
Supervisors based on efficiency and law. 

1 . The computers may not be used for personal or private business, may not be used to support 
or oppose any candidate or ballot proposition (even if that proposition has been approved by the 
Board of Supervisors), and may not be used to record political campaign contributions or for 
other campaign related matters. 

2. Users shall log off their equipment before leaving offices. 

3. Occasionally the computer is not available because of maintenance by the System 
Administrator. Do not plan to use the system then. He provides plenty of advance notice. 

Can we use the computer to look up the history of legislation? 

Yes. Our legislative history is now on a Wang database. I expect that sometime in 1998 we 
shall install new software for accessing legislation and for viewing the history. Our present 

44 



system works well, but the new system will be a great improvement over our present system. 
Supervisors, other City officials, and members of the public will be very pleased. 

Do you have a computer spell checker? 

We do have spelling verifiers. They catch poor spelling and typographical errors. They should 
be used as you are about to order a document to print. Use them. In Microsoft Word, click the 
icon VaBC. You can also check grammar using "tools" in Microsoft Word. 

Do you have E-Mail? 

Yes. With plenty of good options for communicating with various city officials. You can create 
special group mailing lists in e-mail just as you can in voice mail. Of course, if you decide not to 
bother looking at your e-mail in box for weeks at a time, you will miss some messages. 

Does the word processing system allow creation of macros? 

Yes. Microsoft Word users may write macros. When this is done, you can touch two or three 
keys so that the word processor will perform many key strokes which are repetitively used. The 
best example is probably the end of a letter. With a macro, you can write the end of a letter 
using, instead of 30 keystrokes, only two keystrokes. An aide who does not have a macro for the 
end of a letter is wasting time and money. These are logical things to automate: 

• San Francisco, California 941 

• Thank you for your recent letter concerning 

• I appreciate the interest you are taking in affairs of this city. 

• I agree with your position on this matter and will continue to exert my best efforts to continue 
to support your position. 

• Although I appreciate the strength of your concerns, I must inform you that I do not agree 
with you on this matter. I shall, however, take into consideration your views when similar 
matters come before the Board in the future. 

• Sincerely yours. 



Supervisor Laura Miller 

Where would we get forms we would need? 

The forms relating to personnel, like appointments, are kept by our personnel/payroll clerk. 
Most other forms are kept in a rack in the Clerk's office. Here is a list of some of them. You 
should get familiar v^th them. 

Agenda Subscription Form. 

Annual Economic Statements for City ftrnded organizations. 

Appeal procedures from City Plarming decisions. 

Appeal procedures for street closings. 

Applications to serve on Boards and Commissions. 

Appointments list. 

Assessment appeals forms. 

Ballot propositions. 

Board agenda subscription requests. 

Board and Commissions annual list. 

Boards and Commissions terms due to expire. 

45 



Board of Supervisors narrative description. 

Bond issue schedule. 

Budget schedule. 

Charter amendment schedule. 

City Hall history. 

Claim forms. 

Committee assignments. 

Committee meetings outside City Hall. 

Fax cover page. 

Immediate adoption— not on agenda. 

In memoriam forms. 

Introduction forms. 

Legislators: federal and state. 

Liquor license information. 

Local ballot measures. 

Members, Board of Supervisors & Aides. 

Notice of Absence of Supervisors. 

Off site meeting checklist. 

Organization chart. 

Rent Board - Fast Facts. 

Rules of Order. 

Sister Cities listing. 

Statements of Economic Interests — Form 700. 

Sunshine Ordinance. 

Supervisor's Handbook. 

Can Supervisors send big mailings to constituents if it is not campaign related? 

A State law prohibits mass mailings by elected officials. It is enforced by the Fair Political 
Practices Commission. In brief, a mass mailing is one which in one month contains 200 copies 
of substantially identical material. Supervisors and aides should be careful not to violate the law. 
Advice may be obtained from the office of the City Attorney. 

Are there rules about using City meeting rooms? 

Yes, and you should be clear about the procedures and conditions for use of the meeting facilities 
of the Department of the Board of Supervisors: the Conference Room, the Committee Hearing 
Room, and the Legislative Chamber. 

Authority 

The Legislative Chamber is available under direction of the President of the Board, subject to 
provisions in Rule 6.13. The other meeting space is available under direction of the Clerk of the 
Board as Department Head, subject to provisions which may be adopted by the Board. A record 
of reservations for the facilities is kept in a small red diary in the Clerk's office. 

Rooms may not be used by non-government organizations, no matter how worthy. If we let the 
fine XYZ neighborhood organization use our meeting rooms, then we have to let all other 
organizations use the room, including the American Nazi Party, Operation Rescue, and other 
groups which the Board may not want to house. The Board cannot discriminate. 



46 



Legislative Chamber 

Under Rule 6.13 the President of the Board has the power and duty to provide general direction 
over the legislative chamber of the Board. 

The President has directed the Clerk to permit the use of the chamber as follows: 

(a) For meetings of the full Board. 

(b) For meetings of committees of the Board when the committee hearing room is in use by 
another committee. 

(c) For meetings of committees of the Board when attendance at a committee meeting is 
expected to be so great that the committee hearing room is inadequate. 

(d) For brief visits by groups lead by City guides; visits by school groups; or visits by guests of 
officials of the City. 

(e) For brief incidental filming by local television crews as background location for a news 
story or editorial, with nameplates of Supervisors not to be filmed. 

The President may grant the use of the chamber for the following additional purposes when it is 
not scheduled for business of the Board. Such requests shall be routed through the Clerk of the 
Board: 

(f) For a meeting held by an agency of the regional Federal, State or City and County 
governments for the transaction of public business when it is clear that their normal meeting 
facilities will not be able to handle an audience of unusual size. On occasions when the President 
will not be available to make a timely decision on such a request, the Clerk is authorized by the 
President to grant such permission. 

(g) For a ceremonial function, such as an inauguration ceremony. 
Approval of the use of the chamber shall be on the conditions of: 

(1) no smoking 

(2) no eating 

(3) no moving furniture 

(4) leaving the chamber in the condition in which it was found. 

Meeting Facilities other than the Chamber 

As Legislative Administrator, the Clerk of the Board shall permit the use of the committee 
hearing room and the conference room for the following purposes in the following priority order 
with lower listed users required to vacate the room when a higher user desires the room: 

Committee Hearing Room 

For full Board closed sessions. 

For meetings of Board committees. 

For meetings requested by a Board member when a Supervisor or an aide will be present. 

For meetings of City political committees only when required by state law to meet in City Hall. 

For occasional meetings of other groups at the discretion of the Clerk (who shall consult with the 

President in the event of any question of the appropriateness) when there is no other appropriate 

place to meet. 

The Clerk shall not permit the regular use of the Committee Hearing Room for purposes other 

than those listed above without approval by motion of the Board. 



47 



Conference Room 

For meetings requested by a Board member when a Supervisor or an aide will be present. 

For occasional meetings of other groups at the discretion of the Clerk (who shall consult with the 

President in the event of any question of the appropriateness) when there is no other appropriate 

place to meet. 

The Clerk shall not permit the regular use of the Conference Room for purposes other than those 

listed above without approval by motion of the Board. 

Do you have a list of telephone numbers for use in the office? 



Name 



554- 



Name 



554- 



Ammiano, Tom 


5144 


Licavoli, Madeleine 


7703 


Assessment Appeals 


6778 


Little-Horanzy, Rosemary 


4447 


Ballesteros, Jon 


7787 


Lonich, Annette 


7706 


Bierman, Sue 


6661 


Ltim, Jean 


7711 


Blanchard, Joni 


4446 


McKechnie, Marie 


7722 


Blattner, Billy 


7781 


Medina, Jose 


5405 


Brown, Amos 


7601 


Moses, Alvin 


6234 


Budget Analyst 


7642 


Mosuela, Violeta 


7704 


Chan, Eng Eng 


7707 


Newsom, Gavin 


5942 


Computer Room 


7715 


Receptionist 


5184 


Conference Room 


4949 


Red, Mary 


4402 


Cosentino, Marilyn 


6777 


Reilly, Barbara 


5184 


Dahlen, Lilia 


7709 


Rustom, Cecilia 


6779 


Duma, Clarice 


7782 


Secondez, Grace 


7710 


Espinosa, Lolita 


7708 


Taylor, John 


5184 


Feldman, Gail 


7788 


Teng, Mabel 


4981 


Hobson, Greg 


4441 


Toth, Rita 


7701 


Johnson, Gail 


4445 


Vazquez, Moe 


4909 


Katz, Leslie 


5335 


Yaki, Michael 


7901 


Kaufman, Barbara 


4880 


Yee, Leland 


7752 


Lamug, Joy 


7712 


Young, Victor 


6778 


Leno, Mark 


7734 







Do you have a modern telephone system? 

Yes, we do have a system installed when we moved to the Veterans Building. It is very flexible. 
I strongly suggest you get a briefmg from our telephone experts before you make decisions on 
the best arrangements for your phones. Some features of our system: 

Touch tone phones. No rotary dialing. 

Outside calls are placed by touching "9" plus seven digits. Inside calls, those to City offices in 
the Veterans Building, 875 Stevenson Street, and 633 Folsom Street are reached by touching "4" 
then four digits. 

Most City office numbers begin with 554. The last four digits are in the range from 4000 to 
7999. A 554 number outside that range must be called using all seven digits. Calls to the office 
of the City Attorney in Fox Plaza must be made using seven digits, even though they are in the 
4000 to 7999 range. 



48 



Voice mail. The phone of each Supervisor and the phone of each aide has voice mail. Some 
offices prefer having only one voice mailbox so that the calls to aides can go to a common 
mailbox. 

Automatic route selection. The telephone computer will automatically select the fastest route for 
toll calls at a lower than normal cost. 

Auto dial buttons can be programmed on the phone for frequently called numbers. These can be 
changed by the user. The change code is #80. 

Call coverage. Telephones are programmed so that when a line is busy or not answered, the calls 
can automatically go to another phone. But now that we have voice mail, most telephone calls 
when not answered go to a voice mail box. There is a do not disturb code (*78) that sends your 
calls to voice mail. To deactivate, touch #78. 

Call forwarding. When you want all of your calls to go to another number while you are away 
from your desk. The code is *79 plus the number you want to forward to. Deactivation is #77. 

Call pickup. If you hear another phone ring in your room or suite and wish to answer it because 
you know the person being called is out, you can answer it from your phone by touching *80. 

Many of the feattires can be tailored to the needs of the individual users. 

Each telephone has a separate number. In each office one phone has a published number. The 
numbers of telephones on Supervisors' desks are not given out in the interest of privacy. 

When the direct line to the Supervisor is used and not answered because the Supervisor's phone 
is busy or because it is not answered, it can be transferred to the phone of one of the aides, or it 
can be transferred directly to voice mail, at the option of the Supervisor. 

Each phone in the Supervisors' offices or aides' offices is programmed so that when it is not 
answered by the phone or the back up phones, it is routed to voice mail. 

Each Supervisor has buttons on the Supervisor's telephone which provide direct intercom to the 
three aides. 

When a call comes in which an aide may wish to transfer to a Supervisor: 

1. Touch the transfer key and the Supervisor's key. This puts the call on hold and rings the 
Supervisor's phone. You can then talk to the Supervisor and say, for example, "The Governor is 
calling, do you wish to speak to him?" 

2. After talking to the Supervisor, if you wish to transfer the call to the Supervisor hang up and 
the call is then transferred. 

3. Or if the Supervisor does not wish to talk to the caller, you can touch the connect button and 
be reconnected to the caller. 

Each user will be able to place a call on hold and make an outgoing call while the incoming call 
remains on hold. 

Each telephone is assigned a level of toll calls which can be made. Level 1 is for Cit\' numbers 
only, Level 2 is San Francisco only, Level 3 is area code 415 only. Level 4 is anywhere in the 
world, and Level 5 is anywhere in California. 

49 



Phones in Supervisors' offices are able to call anywhere unless we are otherwise requested. The 
phones by the committee hearing room and by the Legislative Chamber and the phone at the 
reception counter in the Clerk's office are programmed to send only city calls. 

The new telephone system computer obtains a large amount of information about the use of the 
telephone system. As a method of controlling excessive use of the phone system, the 
Department of Telecommunications and Information Services could issue an award each month 
for such things as: 

(1) the most expensive call made, (2) the longest call made, (3) the largest number of calls made 
to another number, and similar dubious honors. 

They might even have awards for each department. I trust each of you would take care to see 
that you do not win any of these awards unless the calls are clearly necessary. 

Naturally the telephones are for City business. It is recognized that Supervisors and aides must 
in urgent situations make personal calls. A separate bill is provided for each telephone. Users 
are given a copy each month. Persons who make personal calls shall reimburse the City by 
writing a check payable to "City and County of San Francisco" and giving it to Violeta, the 
Department's senior accountant. Persons who made no personal calls during the month shall so 
indicate on the bill and return it to Violeta. 

When visitors come, may they use a telephone at the front counter? 

These are guidelines for the use of the telephone on the reception counter in the Clerk's office: 

1 . When a visitor asks to speak to someone in a Supervisor's office, we shall suggest the visitor 
use the counter telephone. 

2. When the receptionist observes that a visitor would have trouble physically placing such a 
call, the Clerk's staff shall call the Supervisor's office. 

3. When a visitor picks up the telephone without saying anything to a clerk, we shall permit the 
visitor to make the call desired. 

The telephone can be used only for 5 digit City office calls. It cannot be used for outside calls, 
nor can it be used for intercom calls. 

Where can we park near our offices? 

Each Supervisor is issued a parking pass to park in a numbered permit space on the street. Seven 
of the spaces are on Van Ness Avenue in front of the interim City Hall; four of the spaces are on 
McAllister Street. 

Permits are valid only for the spaces to which they are assigned. A significant cause of tension 
between Supervisors' offices is the occasional practice of a car from one office being in a space 
assigned to another office. Cars may not park in spaces assigned to other offices, even if some 
stranger has improperly parked in your numbered space. 

Each parking permit has a number corresponding to the numbered space assigned. The permit 
also identifies the car owner. This will facilitate determining who owns the car in emergency 
situations and in situations requiring a parking ticket to be issued. 



50 



Aides have some parking privileges. They are somewhat unequal. These arrangements are now 
under review by the Department of Parking and Traffic and likely to change ver\' soon. The 
arrangements are likely to improve for some people and be not quite so favorable for others, all 
in the interest of equity and avoiding imposing an excessive burden on the taxpayer. 

Aides have a great deal when it comes to parking. They have much better parking benefits than 
other city officials of much higher rank. It would be a mistake to abuse the privilege. 

Voters have adopted a declaration of policy which provides all officials and full time employees 
of the city shall ride public transit to and from the workplace at least two workdays a week. 

Can you fix parking tickets? 

Supervisors authorized to park in the permit area will occasionally get parking tickets because 
they have forgotten to put their parking pass on their dashboard. The Clerk figures it costs him 
about $25 a year (in parking tickets) because he forgets to display his pass. Super\dsors strongly 
feel that imauthorized cars should not park in Supervisors' spaces. The Parking and Traffic 
Department thus gives tickets to cars not displaying a permit. When the car happens to belong to 
a permit holder, but there is no permit seen, a ticket is issued. 

The Clerk is informed that a Supervisor with a ticket for parking in the Veterans Building street 
permit area may have payment of the ticket suspended if the Supervisor sends to the traffic court 
the ticket, a copy of the parking pass, and a statement signed by the Clerk that the parking pass 
was issued to the specific person who received the ticket. If a Supervisor wishes the Clerk to 
sign such a statement, it should be prepared by the permit holder and given to the Clerk for 
signature. It should be on Board letterhead and read approximately "This is to certify that on 
(date), (person's name) was the holder of a permit to park in the Veterans Building Street permit 
area in space (specify)" followed by a line for the Clerk's signature. 

The Clerk does not guarantee the accuracy of the above information. Parking violators may have 
to go to jail for all the Clerk knows. 

During more than 35 years of working for City government, including service as the Chief 
Executive Officer of municipalities for 20 years, the Clerk has never fixed nor tried to fix a 
parking ticket, or to intervene with the police or the courts. He is not going to start now. Do not 
ask him to do it. Do not ask him to call the police or the traffic court. Do not ask him to approve 
reimbursement for parking ticket payments. 

Can we use the City Seal? 

The San Francisco Administrative Code describes the City Seal in general terms and provides 
that the Clerk of the Board shall be the custodian of the City Seal. 

Clear drawings of the Seal have been made in three versions so that they will reproduce well in 
various sizes. Version .A. is used when the seal will be larger than that used on letterhead, for 
example on the cover of the budget or on the side of automobiles. Version B is used on 
letterhead and envelopes and similar sizes. Version C is used only for business cards. 

The seals may be used only for the official business of the City^ and County of San Francisco. 
They may be obtained from the Reproduction Bureau. These seals, seals which look similar to 
these seals, and seals which could be easily mistaken for the Seal of the Cit\' and County of San 
Francisco, may not be used for commercial purposes nor by organizations, no matter how 
worthy, other than the City and County of San Francisco. In case of doubt about whether the 
City Seal may be used, consult the Clerk. 

51 



Can we smoke in our offices or meeting rooms? 

No! Smoking is prohibited in all places in City Hall and the Veterans Building, the interim City 
Hall. You may smoke outside the building, or give up smoking or wait until you get home in the 
evening. Considering the strong efforts by the Board of Supervisors to reduce smoking 
throughout the city, it might be good not only to observe the smoking prohibitions, but also to 
avoid smoking immediately outside the building. 

What are the plans to make City Hall safe from earthquakes? 

No building is completely safe from earthquakes. But seismic retrofitting can reduce the danger. 
City Hall was closed beginning in February 1995. It is scheduled to reopen in January 1999. 
During the closure earthquake damage will be repaired, a base isolation project will be completed 
so that the building will mostly be resting on a cushion instead of on solid ground which moves 
during a quake, courtrooms will be converted to offices, and 80 year old electrical wiring will be 
replaced. As of April 1998, the project was on time. 

During the retrofit, the Board of Supervisors, along with the Mayor, the City Administrator, and 
the Law Library are in the Veterans Building across Van Ness Avenue from City Hall in space 
previously occupied by the Museum of Modem Art which has moved to Third Street between 
Mission and Howard in the Yerba Buena Center. Board offices are on the third floor of the 
Veterans Building where there were museum offices. A new Legislative Chamber and a new 
committee hearing room are on the fourth floor in space previously used as art galleries. 

Question 11. What are the aides to Supervisors? 

How many aides does each Supervisor get and how much are aides paid? 

Supervisors may select three aides. Two of them are "Legislative Assistants." Each has a 
starting salary of $49,224. After one year as an aide the pay increases to $51,678, and after an 
additional year to $54,262. A third aide for each Supervisor was added in 1997. Their starting 
salary is $33,956. After one year the pay increases to $35,626, and after an additional year to 
$37,401. The Clerk must be informed in advance of the hiring of aides. Details will be 
furnished to Supervisors by the Clerk as required. 

Who are the present aides? 

We keep a list. I shall give you one. Keep it posted on your bulletin board or wall. We put out a 
new one each time a new aide or Supervisor is appointed. 

Does that happen very often? 

Supervisors are elected each two years, of course. In addition, since 1980 nine Supervisors have 
been appointed between elections to fill vacancies caused by resignation or death. New 
Supervisors appoint new aides. The average tenure of existing aides is usually about 1 3 months, 
so we get new aides fairly often, more than once a month on the average. In January 1998 the 
median tenure of existing aides was near its lowest point in memory, only five months. The most 
senior aide has served just five years; the most junior has been in office only a few days. 



52 



Why do you think there is so much turnover among aides? 

Some of it is because of turnover in Supervisors. But I think the turnover is largely a question of 
job expectation. A bright, well educated person comes to work here expecting to be an aide to a 
member of the legislative body of one of the great cities of the world, with an opportunity to help 
shape important urban policy. And some of that opportunity is here. In addition, however, the 
phone rings, and the mail comes, and the phone continues to ring and the mail continues to come. 
The routine drives out the non routine. 

A second factor is that many elected officials, all over the world, have large egos. That is a 
highly desirable characteristic when one wants to run for public office. But sometimes those 
large egos do not mesh with the personalities of the aides. 

Do aides have any kind of job protection? 

No. None. The only way to get job protection in the City's Civil Service system is to take a 
competitive examination, to compete against all other applicants. And since aides did not have 
to do that, they get no job protection. They serve at the pleasure of the individual Supervisor. 
The moral of the story is to do high quality work and to get along with the Supervisor. 

What benefits do the aides get? 

Well, until the new Charter took effect on July 1, 1996, the two different aides received different 
fringe benefits. That is because one held a position authorized under the Charter and received the 
same benefits (but not the same job protection) as permanent city employees. The second aide 
had benefits similar to those of temporary employees. Effective July 1. 1996, both the 
Legislative Assistants are Charter authorized and receive the same benefits as permanent 
employees. The third aide, the Constituent Liaison, receives the same benefits as the other two 
aides. 

What are those benefits now? 

Aides are covered by the Retirement System from the first day of work. Aides get two weeks 
vacation a year, but can take none of it until after completing a year of work. That is true of all 
city employees by Charter. Aides are eligible for sick leave after working for six months. Aides 
are eligible to take three floating holidays after working six months. Aides have health insurance 
beginning the first month of work. 

What is the median age and length of service of aides? 

The median length of service of existing aides is now about 7 months. It is usually about 13 
months. It has gotten to as high as 17 months and as low as three months and 8 days. This does 
not mean that aides stay only 13 months. It may be that an aide with a current tenure of 13 
months is halfway through employment. Thus the total stay may be 26 months in that example. 

The median age of present aides is about 3 1 years. 

How does that compare with their Supervisors, and with people in your office? 

In April 1998, the median length of service of present Supervisors is 22 months. The median age 
of Supervisors is about 49 years. 

The median length of service of people in the Clerk's office is slightly more than 10 years. The 
median age of the Clerk's staff is about 47 years. 

53 



Do you have advice on the selection of aides? 

A prospective aide should not simply say "yes" to an offer of a job as an aide. There should be at 
least two full discussions between the Supervisor and the prospective aide about the role of the 
aide. A prospective aide should visit the offices of the Supervisors, and observe a committee 
meeting and a full Board meeting. A prospective aide should also talk to the other aides in the 
office and perhaps to aides from other offices so the atmosphere will be clear. Prospective aides 
should realize that skills useful in a campaign are often different from the skills needed to work 
in City government. The prospective aide should be sure that he or she can work effectively as a 
subordinate to an official who may have a large ego. 

After an aide is hired, the aide should work in a positive manner to develop good working 
relations with the Supervisor, with the other aides, and with other city employees. 

When an aide leaves, can the Supervisor immediately appoint a replacement? 

It depends on how much vacation the leaving aide has on the books. The Supervisor has to wait 
until that vacation is used up, or two weeks passes, which ever first occurs. Comp time does not 
enter into the calculation. Departing aides are not paid compensatory time for working more 
than 40 hours. Actually Supervisors do not get three fiill time aides. They get three ftill time 
aides less normal vacation and sick leave time. 

But what happens if the sick leave is for a long time, as in a serious illness or maternity leave? 

The Board has adopted a motion letting a position be filled after four weeks, even though the 
aide on sick leave is still being paid. The motion provides that? 

Each supervisor normally has the services of aides full time except for normal vacations and 
normal sick leave usage. Circumstances involving maternity leave or serious illness may arise in 
which an aide is away on extended paid leave, creating a serious problem for the proper 
functioning of the office of a member of the Board. The Board of Supervisors desires to ease 
such problems. Therefore, when unusual circumstances arise in which an aide is taking paid 
leave for medical reasons in excess of four weeks, and when sufficient funds have been 
appropriated, the Clerk of the Board is authorized to appoint at the request of the effected 
Supervisor a temporary replacement at the lowest pay level, beginning after four weeks of 
absence. 

Can aides work in political campaigns? 

Some do. The Clerk strongly discourages that practice. The job of an aide, normally more than 
40 hours a week, is tough enough without having to work evenings and weekends on a campaign. 
When aides work in a campaign three things suffer: the aide's work in City Hall, the aide's work 
on the campaign, and the aide. 

In 1996, a Contra Costa County Supervisor was accused of requiring her aides to do some 
campaign related work on county time. That resulted in her defeat for reelection (she did not 
even make a runoff between the top two candidates). In the summer of 1997 she was convicted 
on several felony counts in connection with that activity. A moral: do not work on campaigns 
on city time or in city offices. 



54 



Question 12. Do you have policies we should know about? 

Do you have an overall policy of some kind? 

The Clerk has a vision that his office, and the entire department, will be conducted in a 
professional manner, with integrity, with courtesy, which provides a ver\ high quality of ser\ice 
to members of the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor, other city officials, and the public. We try 
to see that those are not simply high sounding goals, but are actions which actually occur. We do 
make mistakes on occasion, but we tr>' hard to do high quality work in a professional way. 

What is your policy about slurs? 

It is the firm policy and objective of the Department of the Board of Supervisors, as well as the 
policy of the City and County of San Francisco, to treat all persons equally and respectfully. In 
order to carry out and achieve that policy and objective, it is also the policy of the Department, as 
well as that of the City and County, that each City officer and employee shall refrain from the 
willful or negligent use of slurs against any person on the basis of race, color, creed, national 
origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. A slur is a word, or 
combination of words, or gesture that by its ver\' utterance inflicts injury, offers little opportunity 
for response, and is irritable. It is typically an unessential or gratuitous part of any exposition of 
fact or opinion. All persons are entitled by law, by common sense, and by justice, to the right of 
equal treatment and respect. Slurs deprive individuals of this right by holding them up to public 
contempt, ridicule, shame, and disgrace and causing them to be shunned, avoided or injured in 
their occupation and other parts of their lives. By promoting ill will and rancor, slurs seriously 
diminish the effectiveness of any organization and seriously diminish peace and order. 

The use of slurs by city officers or employees will be considered by this Cit}' and this 
Department as prima facie evidence of lack of competence by those persons to properly perform 
their duties. Evidence of the usage of slurs shall be entered in job performance evaluations of the 
fitness of City employees. The use of slurs shall be considered grounds for suspension or 
termination. 

What is your policy about AIDS? 

The policy of the Clerk of the Board with respect to Acquired Immvmodeficiency Syndrome as it 
concerns Department employees is as follows: 

Employees should become as educated about AIDS as much as possible. 

Employees should leam how AIDS is transmitted, that the two main ways one can get AIDS are: 
(1) by having sex with someone who is infected with the AIDS virus, and (2) by sharing drug 
needles and syringes with an infected person. 

Employees with a life threatening ilhess such as AIDS shall be offered the right to continue 
working as long as they are able to perform their jobs satisfactorily. A person carrying the AIDS 
virus is not a threat to co-workers since AIDS is not spread by everyday contact. 

Employees with AIDS, or any life threatening illness, shall be treated with compassion and 
understanding in their personal crisis. Efforts shall be made to accommodate seriously ill 
persons by providing flexible work hours and assignments whenever possible. 



55 



Employees should be sensitive to the needs of critically ill colleagues, and to recognize that 
continued employment for an employee with a life threatening illness is often life sustaining and 
can be physically, mentally and emotionally beneficial. 

This is written at a time when the Clerk knows of no member in the Department with AIDS, 
although there may be some who are HIV positive. In recent years former employees have died 
of AIDS and an employee has died of cancer. All were treated with love and compassion. This 
is written so that if life threatening illness again strikes members of this department, they, too, 
shall be similarly treated by the full staff of the department. 

Do you have a policy about sexual harassment? 

Yes. Sexual harassment is illegal. The Board of Supervisors has adopted an ordinance which 
expresses the City's policy and which provides for a complaint procedure. New employees are 
urged to read those provisions which are found in the Administrative Code. They are also urged 
to read the handbook on Sexual Harassment issued by the San Francisco Commission on the 
Status of Women. The Commission staff can be particularly helpful in sexual harassment 
situations. In addition, state and federal officials can be of help. 

Do you have an overtime policy? 

Overtime pay is not available for Supervisors or for their aides. A very limited appropriation for 
overtime is available for a few members of the Clerk's staff when its use is essential to get the 
mission of the office accomplished. Except for overtime required to be put in by a committee 
clerk the evening of a committee meeting, overtime must be approved by the appropriate Deputy 
Clerk prior to working the overtime. Deputy Clerks are directed not to approve overtime unless 
it is essential. Each staff member is directed to plan work so that overtime will not be necessary. 

What is your comp time policy? 

First, it should be clear that aides are hired to do a job, not simply to work a certain number of 
hours. Most aides work well over 40 hours a week on the average, but they do have relatively 
flexible schedules. 

The City has compensatory time provisions in the Salary Standardization Ordinance. The 
department of the Board of Supervisors does have a policy. Legislative Assistants to each 
Supervisor have a "Z" designation concerning compensatory time. A "Z" designation prohibits 
cash overtime payments, but permits the Department to grant compensatory time. 

The Board policy is that: 

In order to avoid additional costs and to keep the Board's budget fi-om impacts it caimot afford at 
the time aides leave, aides may not take compensatory time off until their vacation entitlement 
has been used. 

Each Supervisor shall arrange work schedules of 80 hours per two week pay period for each of 
the aides. Schedules need not be for 8 hour days nor 5 day weeks, but may be totally flexible at 
the option of the Supervisor. 

Legislative Assistants to each Supervisor have a Z class designation. Under that designation. 
Supervisors may permit aides to take compensatory time off when aides have worked in excess 
of 80 hours during a pay period. Aides, however, do not have a right to take compensatory time 
off and cannot be paid for overtime worked. 



56 



Time worked in excess of normal hours shall be recorded by aides on appropriate forms supplied 
by the Clerk of the Board, indicating the extra time worked and the reason for the extra work. 

After personal approval by the Supervisor, the form shall be submitted, by the tenth of each 
month, for work of the previous month, to the payroll clerk of the Board of Supervisors, who will 
record the hours. 

Aides may take compensatory time off only to the extent and at the times approved by their 
Supervisor. A Supervisor may choose to permit no compensatory time off, only a few hours, or a 
maximum of 4 weeks per fiscal year if the Supervisor can do without an aide for that long. 
Compensatory time used shall be reported to the payroll clerk prior to its use (as vacation time is 
likewise reported before it is used). 

A Supervisor may not grant more than 160 hours compensatory time off per fiscal year to any 
one employee. Compensator)' time is accumulated at the rate of time and a half. (Aides will find 
that recording as compensatory time only two hours a week of extra time worked reaches the 
maximum possible entitlement). 

No more than 80 hours of compensatory time can be carried over to a new fiscal year. 

Accumulated compensator)' time shall not be paid when an aide leaves City employment. 

Because of Charter restrictions prohibiting taking vacation the first year of employment, the 
Clerk encourages aides to record comp time during their first year. After that, it is not really 
worth the effort. 

Do you have preferred spelling of special phrases? 

Yes. Here are some: 

Legislative Chamber (not Chambers) 

Fisherman's Wharf (not Fishermen's) 

Hunters Point (no apostrophe) 

The Sierra or Sierra Nevada (not Sierras, not Sierra Nevadas) 

Veterans Building (no apostrophe) 

Do you have special preferences about wording? 

Yes. Legislation and letters and memos should be written clearly in common language readily 
imderstood by lay members of the public. The Clerk suggests: 

Keep sentences short. Keep words short. Use the active voice rather than the passive voice. 
Don't write "A memo shall be issued by each administrator." Say "Each administrator shall issue 
a memo." 

Avoid the use of a gender-specific pronoun when both sexes are involved. Don't say "The 
manager and his designee." Write "The manager and the manager's designee." 

I also have strong preferences against the use of certain words and phrases. Some are obvious, 
such as words which insuh a particular ethnic group. Some are less obvious. I dislike, in any 
context, the phrase "You people." It indicates differences which do not exist; it was used badly 
in the 1960's. I dislike, in any context, the phrase "final solution." It reminds me of a phrase 
used in Hitler's Germany. The newest phrase 1 dislike is "ethnic cleansing." What a terrible 
concept. 



57 



13. What is the Clerk's office like? 

When you are away, who is the Acting Clerk? 

In the absence of the Clerk of the Board on vacation or illness or on a business trip. Deputy Clerk 
Jean Lum is Acting Clerk of the Board. In the absence of both the Clerk of the Board and Jean 
Lum, Deputy Clerk Marie McKechnie is Acting Clerk of the Board. When the Clerk was away 
for two months in the spring of 1 995, the office ran very smoothly. 

Who do you have working for you in the Clerk's Office? 

Class Position Title Name 



1140 
1140 


Deputy Clerk 
Deputy Clerk 


Jean Lum 

Marie McKechnie 


1023 
1022 


Information System 
Administrator III 

Information System 
Administrator II 


Moe Vazquez 
Alvin Moses 


1492 
1492 
1492 
1492 
1492 


Assistant Clerk of Board 
Assistant Clerk of Board 
Assistant Clerk of Board 
Assistant Clerk of Board 
Assistant Clerk of Board 


Joni Blanchard 
Gregoire Hobson 
Gail Johnson 
Rosemary Little-Horanzy 
Mary Red 


1374 
1371 
1367 
1367 


Chief Legislative Analyst 
Senior Legislative Analyst 
Legislative Analyst 
Legislative Analyst 


Gail Feldman 
Jon Ballesteros 
Billy Blattner 
Clarice Duma 


8118 
8116 

1454 


Legislation Clerk 
Legislative Calendar Clerk 
Executive Secretary III 


Lilia Dahlen 
Annette Lonich 
Madeleine Licavoli 


1426 
1426 
1426 
1426 
1404 


Senior Clerk Typist 
Senior Clerk Typist 
Senior Clerk Typist 
Senior Clerk Typist 
Clerk 


Lolita Espinosa 
Joy Lamug 
Grace Secondez 
Rita Toth 
Barbara Reilly 


1842 


Management Assistant 


Eng Eng Chan 


1652 


Senior Accountant 


Violeta Mosuela 



Can you give us an idea of what these people do? 

We have such a small staff with so much to do that everybody pitches in to get the job done. We 
try to have a good balance between specialization and generalists. The tasks I list here will give 
you a flavor of what they do. Their actual tasks would take up many pages. 



58 



Jean Lum is a Deputy Clerk of the Board. She heads the Legislation Section of the Board's 
office. She is responsible for the accurate preparation of the agenda of the weekly Board 
meetings. She attends Board meetings and records what happens. She is responsible for the 
preparation of the Journal of Proceedings or minutes of the Board meetings. She supervises the 
work of the Legislation Clerk, Calendar Clerk, and two Senior Clerk Typists. Jean worked in the 
office of the Chief Administrative Officer and as a committee clerk before becoming Deputy 
Clerk of the Board. She and Marie McKechnie and Moe Vazquez act as principal assistants to 
the Clerk of the Board in planning directing, assigning and coordinating the administrative, 
legislative, public information, technical and clerical work of the Board of Supervisors. 

Marie McKechnie, a Deputy Clerk of the Board, is the former President of the City Clerks 
Department of the League of California Cities. She is also the former City Clerk of Berkeley and 
of Millbrae, and former Assistant City Clerk of Oakland. She assists the Clerk of the Board in 
managing activities of the office of the Board of Supervisors, in working to improve the 
operations. She supervises the committee clerks and much of the Clerk's office staff 

Joni Blanchard, Gregoire Hobson, Gail Johnson, Rosemary Little-Horanzy , and Marv Red 

are Assistant Clerks of the Board. They serve as clerks of the Board committees. They maintain 
legislation files, prepare pending lists, work with committee chairs to select items for committee 
agendas, prepare agendas, prepare legal advertisements, record committee actions, issue marked 
agendas, and forward files to the Board of Supervisors. They work under great pressure at 
committee meetings and in preparation for committee meetings. Many people think the\- have 
the toughest jobs on the staff 

Moe Vazquez and Alvin Moses are our Information System Administrators. Moe is the system 
administrator for our computer. You should be sure to talk to Moe or Alvin when you first start 
to work. They will give you passwords and ID codes to use the computer. They will also 
provide training in the use of the computer. They develop and maintain policies and procedures 
related to the computer system. They develop and enforce various standards. They respond to 
hardware and software problems, correcting them or referring them to appropriate outside 
resources. Moe is also a part of the department's management team, a valuable asset as the 
department, and the world, get more technical. Currently he is deeply involved in setting up our 
new legislative tracking system. 

Gail Feldman, Jon Ballesteros, Billy Blattner, and Clarice Duma are the Legislative Analysts. 
Gail is the Chief Legislative Analyst. Jon is the Senior Legislative Analyst. I have previously, 
on about page 28, described their duties for you. 

Madeleine Licavoli is Executive Secretary to the Clerk of the Board. She tries to see that the 
Clerk works less than 55 hours a week, tries to reduce his stress level, and tries to keep him sane. 
She does the normal tasks of a top flight executive secretary. With the Clerk and Deput\^ Clerks 
and MIS administrator, she is part of the department's management team. Madeleine has served 
as the Executive Secretary in two other departments, Juvenile Probation and Recreation and 
Park. 

Lilia Dahlen is our Legislation Clerk. She screens proposed legislation for proper st\'le and 
content, assigns file numbers, indexes legislation, enters a summary of legislation into oiu- 
computer, and prepares the first draft of our Journal of Proceedings. 

Annette Lonich is our Legislative Calendar Clerk. Her greatest responsibility is to prepare the 
weekly agenda for the Board of Supervisors. She also does most of the typing for the weekly 
Journal of Proceedings, the minutes of the Board. 



59 



Eng Eng Chan is our Management Assistant. She is responsible for the payroll and personnel 
functions in the department. You will see her before you start work. She will have you fill out 
various forms. She will help you meet all requirements necessary to complete before you start 
work. She will also see that you get paid. During your tenure, she will help you solve personnel 
and payroll problems. 

Violeta Mosuela is our Senior Accountant. She is responsible for the accounting and auditing 
functions in the department. She also functions as our supply sergeant and, during Board 
meetings, as Sergeant-at-arms. She weighs well under 100 pounds, but when she stands in the 
door way between the legislative chamber and the hallway in order to be sure a quorum remains 
in the room, no member, no matter how big, runs her over. 

Joy Lamug, Rita Toth, Grace Secondez, and Lolita Espinosa are our Senior Clerk Typists. 
They assemble new files, maintain our legislative history index showing actions of the five 
Board committees and weekly Board meetings, enter information into the file registry, process 
approval of final maps, and maintain files of marked Board agendas and committee agendas. 

They prepare the "tails," the record of votes on ordinances and resolutions attached to the 
legislation. They change legislation to show amendments made by the Board of Supervisors, 
prepare the summary of action advertisement, and send legislation to our code publisher. They 
transmit to the Mayor legislation acted on by the Board and receive the legislation returned by 
the Mayor approved or unsigned or vetoed. 

They receive and log claims against the city, and litigation, write in memoriam letters, distribute 
Journals of Proceedings, and issue notices of public hearings. 

They answer thousands of inquiries fi-om the public and city staff, photocopy and distribute 
legislation, maintain the Charter, municipal code, and administrative code, and their index and 
history records, and perform general office duties. 

Barbara Reilly is the most senior member of the Clerk's staff in length of service. She is the 
primary staff member assigned to the public counter where she serves the public and officials 
from other departments. She is responsible for the distribution to the office and to Supervisors of 
incoming United States and inter-office mail. During Board meetings she operates the 
microphones and attends to the needs of Supervisors and the Clerk during the meetings. 

These staff members are in quality far above the normal bell curve. They work well with 
Supervisors and their aides. You will find them very helpful. 

In addition, there are other people in the department. We have staff members who work in the 
Assessment Appeals function, staffing the Assessment Appeals Board and Hearing Officers. 
Those permanent staff members are Marilyn Cosentino, the Assessment Appeals Administrator, 
Victor Young, John Devlin, and Cecilia Rustom. 

We have a Youth Commission and staff members who are part of the department. We also have 
two people in our department who work for the Delinquency Prevention Commission in its office 
on Market Street. That is not a logical function of the legislative branch, but at present they have 
no other home. 



60 



Question 14. What is your function regarding Supervisors and aides? 

How do you relate to Supervisors and to aides? 

My staff and I work for the full Board of Supervisors, not for individual Supervisors. On the 
other hand, we do try to assist individual Supervisors in achieving their objectives. 

For administrative purposes, I am the department head. My staff and I tr>- ver>' hard to prepare 
agendas for the ftill Board and for committees which are accurate and meet all legal 
requirements. We keep records of use to Supervisors when they prepare legislation and of use to 
the public for a variety of matters. And for some reason I find myself answering dozens of 
questions each week from Supervisors and aides. Sometimes I provide informal advice. 

I work very hard at being neutral and at appearing neutral. 

Can you give us an example of the informal advice? 

Sure. In the early 1980"s the Democratic National Convention was scheduled to be held in San 
Francisco. We started a renovation of the cable car system, shutting it down completely, with a 
scheduled completion date just before the convention was to open. A Supervisor stood up at the 
portion of the meeting called "roll call for introductions" and requested a hearing each six 
months in the then existing Traffic and Transportation Committee to review the cable car project 
and to be sure the project would be completed on time. A late completion could give the whole 
city a black eye on national television. When I heard that, I thought six months is too infrequent. 
A project which is very far behind in six months may never recover the lag. But I said nothing at 
the time. Two days later I went to the Supervisor and suggested three things: (1) that the 
committee get a copy of the PERT chart or other project control device showing the time plan for 
each element of the project, (2) that the committee get written reports of progress each month or 
each four weeks, depending on the time intervals used, and (3) that the committee hold a hearing 
at least each three months and. if the project reports showed any time lag, that the committee 
hold a hearing on the issue every time it met. The Supervisor thanked me and at the next 
meeting of the Board called for that information and revised schedule. I received no public 
recognition, but I prefer having no public recognition. 

What is your background for that? Can we have some biographical data? 

In the 1920's I was bom. 

In the 1 930's I was a little kid. 

In the 1 940's I was an electronic technician on a German U-boat. 

In the 1950's I was the manager of a town of 6,000 people. 

In the 1960's I was the City Manager of Kansas City. 

In the 1970's I worked for the cities of Kuwait, Riyadh and Jakarta. 

In the 1980's I was hired by the City of San Francisco. 

In the 1990's I am still here. 

That sounds a little brief Can you amplify that some? 

Well, the central part of my career, covering 20 years, has been as a City Manager under the 
Coimcil-Manager plan in five cities. I was the chief executive officer of Narberth, Permsylvania; 
Lakewood, New Jersey; Fresno, California; Kansas City, Missouri; and Berkeley, California; in 
some pretty exciting times. 



61 



I received an AB degree from Middlebury College in Vermont with a political science major and 
then a master's degree in Governmental Administration from the Wharton School at the 
University of Pennsylvania. I have been an officer, eventually president, of three groups: a state 
association of municipal managers, the California Clerk of the Board of Supervisors Association, 
and the San Francisco Municipal Executives' Association. 

I live in North Point in San Francisco. I married a good woman, Barbara. We have been married 
more than 45 years. I fathered four especially fine children (although their mother should get 
most of the credit for them being so fine). 1 have fine grandchildren. I have been in all 50 states. 
I have seen Yosemite. I have traveled overseas, have been in 28 countries. I have listened to 
good music. I have fought fires, played thousands of games of tennis, hiked miles of good trails, 
hugged some attractive women, seen good trees, good movies, good opera. I have read some 
good books. 

I talked alone at one o'clock one morning at a remote airfield with then Senator, later President, 
John F. Kermedy and his fiancee, Jackie. I once was within a foot of President Harry Truman. 

I won a tiny piece of a Pulitzer prize, lived and worked in Kuwait for nine months, visited 
Masada and the Wailing Wall and Yad Vasham in Israel, and hiked in Nepal. I helped 
constructively to quell a riot, and led one side in a 25 day fire fighters' strike. I was hit on the 
head by a police officer with a baseball bat in the 1960s. In April 1995, Kaiser Hospital 
performed on me quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery. I had, however, no heart attack and 
no heart damage. 

I was given an award fi-om the International City Management Association for organizational 
development and team building. I was given the Martin Luther King Jr. award fi-om a chapter of 
the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for promoting social justice. I have been listed for 
many years in "Who's Who in America." It has been, and remains, an interesting life. 

How did you get the job as Clerk of the Board? 

I was working at SRI International in Menlo Park. I was director of their International 
Development Center, in charge of multi-disciplinary projects in the Third World. Then SRI 
management wanted to "promote" me into a position of Human Resources Director for a division 
of about 1000 people, about 1/3 of the SRJ work force. I had previously been a city manager for 
20 years. I thought that if I was going to leave project work and go back into management, I 
should not do that at SRI. At the time SRI did superb project work, but its management was only 
fair. It took first rate research people and made managers out of them. That does not work any 
better than changing first rate physicians into hospital administrators or first rate teachers into 
school principals. I decided I should go back into city management. 

I happened to read an advertisement in Public Administration News for "Clerk of the Board of 
Supervisors, Legislative Administrator, and City Clerk of the City and County of San Francisco." 
I thought "That would be fim. It is too bad those jobs don't pay well, but that would be fiin!" I 
then computed the pay and found it would pay $100 a year more than I was then making. One 
does not move for $100 a year, but the time seemed ripe. 

So I filed the standard City application and found I had to file a supplemental application. The 
first two questions were like easy pitches down the heart of the plate. The first question was 
whether I had ever attended a meeting of a Board of Supervisors or City Council and if so how 
many and in what capacity. The answer was about 700 meetings as city or town manager. The 
second question made me laugh out loud. It was whether I had ever prepared a recommendation 
for a Board of Supervisors or City Council, or been responsible for the preparation. I estimated 



62 



10,000. I decided I should calculate it another way, but came out with about the same answer. I 
then wrote 7,000 on the theory the reviewer might not believe 10.000. 

The position is a civil service position. The examination was an oral examination, with three 
examiners, each asking two questions. 1 did poorly, finished a distant third of ten candidates 
because for the first three questions I was expecting some conversation back and forth, like an 
interview. 1 answered questions briefly then expected some follow-up. but what followed was a 
completely different question fi-om a different examiner. Eventually 1 figured out the pattern. 

The Board of Supervisors had a choice of the top three candidates. The high scorer was the then 
Assistant Assessor of the City, the second score belonged to the then Clerk of the Board of Santa 
Clara County. The Board interviewed the first candidate for only 15 minutes. 1 figured that 
either he had it made, or had no chance, but I did not know which. The Santa Clara clerk was 
then interviewed for 30 minutes, and 1 was interviewed for 25 minutes. On the first ballot, the 
Assistant Assessor received one vote, the Santa Clara Clerk received three votes, and 1 received 
five votes. On the second ballot, two of the Supervisors changed from the Santa Clara man to 
me, giving me seven votes, more than the necessar>' six. Those figures are not official, but they 
may be accurate. They were reported in a daily paper. 

One Supervisor, asked why I had been selected, said that personal relations between Supervisors 
and the Clerk are important, and I was the only candidate who smiled during the interview. I do 
not think of myself as getting by on personality, but I definitely was enjoying the interview. 

Were you really an electronic technician on a German submarine, a U-Boat, in the 1940s? 

Yes. That soimds awful, doesn't it, especially since World War II occurred in that decade. But I 
was an American submarine sailor, an electronic technician (in the days of vacuum tubes, before 
transistors) and radar and sonar operator. I was assigned to the U-25 1 3 after it was captured by 
the British and turned over to the United States. 

What do your four children do? 

My oldest daughter is the Human Relations Manager at Sunnyside Dairy in Fairfield. You may 
have seen the Christmas trees and reindeer on their roof as you drive past on 1-80 during the 
December holiday season. My oldest son is an attorney in practice in Pleasanton. My youngest 
son is a project manager and skilled technician working with GIS and satellite imager>' for 
Pacific Meridian Resources headquartered in Emeryville. My youngest daughter taught second 
grade in Hayward and now teaches reading recovery there. She is also a professional harpist who 
plays at weddings and similar events. 

Where do your grandchildren live and what are their names? 

The oldest. Crystal, lives in Alameda. Three. Kati. Patrick, and Christina, live in Walnut Creek, 
Two live in Vacaville. My granddaughter Emily will be nine years old this summer. My 
grandson Johnny just became six years old. The youngest grandchild lives in Pleasanton. My 
grandson JT is just three years old. All are smart, healthy, fiiendly people. 

Wow. We are Emily and Johnny and JT too! Were your grandchildren named after us? 

No. Actually I think you were named after them! 



The End 



63 



Index 



ABAG, 12 

Abstain, 3 1 

Achtenberg, Roberta, 6, 7, 8, 10, 1 1 

Acting Clerk. 57 

Active Voice, 57 

Administrative Code, 43 

Affinnative Action, 42 

Agendas, 30 

Agnos, Art, 8, 39 

Aides, 42, 52 

Aides Pay, 52 

AIDS, 55 

Air Quality Board, 12 

Alioto, Angela, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 1 1, 37 

Alioto, Joe, 39 

Ammiano, Tom, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 1 1, 12, 13 

Annual Reports, 42 

Appeals, 21, 26, 31, 36, 45 

Appendix, 40 

Applications, 45 

Appoint Committees, 36 

Appointing Authority, 1 3 

Appointments, 41 

Appropriation Ordinance, 22 

Approved as to Form, 15, 16, 20, 22 

Assassination. 39 

Assessment Appeals, 45, 60 

Assessor, 6, 7, 40 

Assets, 14 

At Large, 3 

Audit Committee, 41 

Auto Dial Buttons, 49 

Award, 49 

B 

Ballesteros, Jon, 59 
Ballot Arguments, 18, 19 
Ballot Pamphlet. 19 
Ballot Propositions, 45 
Ballots. 2 



BCDC, 12 

Benefits, 52 

Bierman. Sue. 2. 3, 4. 6, 8. 9, 1 1, 12, 13 

Biographical Data. 61 

Bishop. Gayle, 17, 54 

Blanchard, Joni, 58 

Blattner, Billy, 59 

Board Committees, 33 

Board Floor. 32 

Board Meetings, 30 

Boards and Commissions, 45 

Bond, 13, 15 

Bond Issue. 46 

Britt. Harry, 6. 8, 10, 11.37 

BrownAct, 20,27, 31 

Brown, Amos, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13 

Brown, Willie, 5, 6, 8, 39, 40 

Budget Adoption, 4 1 

Budget Analyst, 28 

Burton, John, 7 



Call Coverage, 49 

Call Forwarding, 49 

Call Pickup, 49 

Called from Committee, 15, 20 

Campaign, 17 

Campaign Literature. 1 7 

Campaign Skills, 53 

Candidates, 2 

Centralized, 40 

Ceremonial Function, 47 

Certificates of Honor, 37 

Chamber Seats, 32 

Chan, Eng Eng, 59 

Charter 1996, 40. 42, 43 

Charter Amendments, 1 8, 46 

Checklist. 22, 24 

Chief Administrative Officer, 41 

Christopher, George, 39 

City Administrator, 40 

City Attorney, 7, 14, 15, 16, 20, 22, 31 



64 



City Hall History, 46 
City Planning Commission, 21 
City Seal, 51 
Clerk to Act, 33 
Closed Sessions, 31 
Commissions, 40, 41 
Committee Assignments, 46 
Committee Chairs, 15, 35 
Committee Clerks, 35 
Committee Hearing Room, 47 
Committees, 20, 46 
Compensated Commissions, 36 
Compensatory Time, 56 
Competition, 2 
Computer, 44 
Conduct, 32 
Conference Room, 48 
Confirmation, 41 
Conflict of Interest, 3 1 
Conroy, Annemarie, 6, 8, 10 
Controller, 14 

Controller's Grants Division, 1 5 
Cosentino, Marilyn, 60 
Council-Manager Plan, 40, 61 
Counter Telephone, 50 
Cover Letter, 22 
CPI, 1 1 
CSAC, 13 

D 

Dahlen, Lilia, 59 
Department Heads, 40, 41, 61 
Departments, 38 
Devlin, John, 60 
Digest, 15, 16, 17,22 
Disability Access, 1 5 
Disclosure, 14 
Dissenting Votes, 32 
District Attorney, 14 
District Elections, 35 
Districts, 2, 3 
Do Not Pass, 15 
Dolson, Lee, 6, 8, 10, 11 
Duma, Clarice, 59 



Earthquakes, 5 1 

Economic Interests, 14 

Egos, 52 

Election, 18 

Election Code, 41 

Election Fees. 42 

E-Mail, 45 

Emergency Ordinance, 21, 22. 42 

Emily, 1 . 63 

Espinosa, Lolita, 59 

Ethics, 44 

Ethics Commission, 14 

Excused, 29 

Executive Branch, 38 

Executive Session, 3 1 



Fax, 43 

Federal Legislation, 1 7, 26 

Feinstein, Dianne, 6, 7, 8, 36, 39 

Feldman, Gail, 59 

Fidelity Bonds, 42 

Files, 27 

Finally Passed, 2 1 

First Amendment, 1 7 

Fiscal Provisions, 41 

Fisherman's Wharf, 57 

Floating Holidays, 53 

Form 700, 14,46 

FPPC, 14 

Friction, 35 

Friday, 21 

Fringe Benefits, 52 



General Fund, 28 
General Plan, 41 
. Gerund, 22, 26 
Gifts, 14 

Golden Gate Bridge, 12 
Gonzalez. Jim, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 
Grant Applications, 1 5 



65 



Grants Division, 1 7 



K 



H 

Hallinan, Terence, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 1 1 

Health Insurance, 53 

Health Plan. 13 

Hearing to Consider Subject, 16 

Hobson. Gregoire, 58 

Hongisto. Richard, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 

Horanz)', Donald, 8 

Hsieh, Tom. 4, 5, 6, 8, 10. 11. 12 

HUD. 39 

Human Rights, 42 

Hunters Point. 57 

Hutch. Ella Hill, 6. 8. 10. 11 



Immediate Adoption. 46 

Immunity, 32 

Impute, 32 

In Memoriams, 37, 46 

Inactive, 21 

Inaugural Meeting, 1 3 

Income, 14 

Informal Advice, 61 

Inquiry, 17, 38 

Interference, 41 

Interim Zoning Controls, 1 5 

Introductions, 15, 16, 20. 46 

Issue Orders, 38 



January 8th, 4, 1 3 
Job Expectation, 52 
Job Protection, 52 
Johnny, 1 , 63 
Johnson, Gail, 58 
Joint Committee, 20 
Joint Powers Board, 12 
Jordan, Frank, 7, 8, 39 
Journal of Proceedings, 30, 33 
JT, 1,63 



Katz, Leslie, 3, 4. 5, 6, 8, 9, 1 1. 12. 13 
Kaufman. Barbara, 2, 3. 4, 6, 8. 9, 1 1. 12, 

13,36,37 
Kennedy, John F., 62 
Kennedy. Willie B., 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 1 1 
Kopp, Quentin, 7, 8, 10, 11, 37 



Lamug, Joy. 59 
LAN, 44 

Leal, Susan, 5, 7. 8, 10, 11 
Leaving the State, 29 
Legislation Introduced, 32 
Legislative Assistant. 42 
Legislative Chamber, 36, 47, 57 
Legislative Expense, 43 
Legislative History, 27 
Legislative Process, 15, 30 
Length of Service, 53 
Leno, Mark, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 13 
Letters of Commendation, 37, 38 
Letters of Inquiry, 39 
Licavoli, Madeleine, 59 
Litigation, 3 1 

Little-Horanzy, Rosemar>', 58 
Local Area Network, 44 
Log On, 44 
Lonich, Annette, 59 
Los Angeles, 12 
Lum, Jean, 57, 58 

M 

Macintosh, 44 
Macros, 45 

Maher,Bill,4, 7, 8, 10, 11 
Mail, 43, 52 
Marked Agenda, 32 
. Mass Mailings, 46 
Master Plan, 41 
Maternity Leave, 53 
Mayor, 13, 14, 15, 21, 26, 38, 40. 41 
McAllister Street, 50 



66 



McKechnie, Marie, 57, 58 

Median Age, 53 

Median Length of Service, 53 

Medina, Jose, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 1 1, 13 

Meeting Results, 32 

Meeting Rooms, 46 

Migden, Carole, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 1 1 

Milk, Harvey, 6, 8, 39 

Minutes, 30, 32 

Molinari, John L., 7, 8, 10, 1 1, 37 

Monday, 21 

Moscone, George, 8, 39 

Moses, Alvin, 44, 58 

Mosk, Stanley, 1 3 

Mosuela, Violeta, 59 

MTC, 12 

Municipal Code, 43 

Municipal Executives' Assn., 62 

Museum of Modem Art, 5 1 

N 

Nelder, Wendy, 7, 8, 10, 11, 37 

Neutral, 61 

Never, 27 

Nev^som, Gavin, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 13 

Non-partisan, 2 

November Election, 1 8 

o 

Oath, 13 
Obituary, 38 
Offices, 32, 36, 42 
Official Newspaper, 15, 20, 31 
Open Meeting Law, 20, 27 
Ordinances, 15, 16, 19, 21, 22, 23 
Organizational Development, 62 
Overtime, 56 



Paper, 44 
Parking Permit, 50 
Parking Spaces, 32 
Parking Tickets, 50 



Parliamentarian, 3 1 

Parliamentary Rules, 30 

Passed for Second Reading, 21 

Passwords, 44 

Pay, 1 1 

Pending List, 20, 35 

Phone, 52 

Photocopy Machine, 44 

Planning Commission, 15, 26, 41 

Planning Department, 42 

Police Chief, 40 

Policies, 55 

Policy Declarations, 1 8 

Political Campaigns, 44, 54 

Political parties, 2 

Preferences, 57 

President, 15, 32,33, 35, 36, 37 

President Pro Tem, 32 

Privilege, 50 

Professional Work, 55 

Public Records Law, 27 

Public Testimony, 20, 3 1 

Public Transit, 50 

Q 

Quadruple Bypass, 62 
Questions of Order, 36 

R 

Reactivating, 21 
Rebuttal Arguments, 1 8 
Recognition, 3 1 
Recorder's Office, 40 
Red Vertical Line, 22, 24 
Red, Mary, 58 
Refer, 36 

Referendum, 21, 26 
Reilly, Barbara, 59 
Renne, Louise, 7, 8, 10, 11 
Rent Board, 46 
Reorganizations, 42 
Replacement, 53 
Resolutions, 15, 16, 19, 24 
Retirement, 52 



67 



Retirement Board, 36 
Rules Committee, 18 
RulesofOrder, 30, 31,33,46 
Rustom, Cecilia, 60 



Salaries, 1 1 

Sample Ordinance, 23 

Sample Resolution, 25 

Seats, 36 

Secondez, Grace, 59 

Seismic Retrofitting, 5 1 

Select Committees, 34 

Senior Aide, 52 

Seniority, 12, 32, 36, 43 

Sergeant at Arms, 32 

Sexual Harassment, 56 

Shelley, John, 39 

Shelley, Kevin, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 1 1, 36, 37 

Shelley, Thelma, 39 

Sick Leave, 53 

Sierra Nevada, 57 

Silver, Carol Ruth, 7, 8, 10, 1 1 

Sister Cities, 46 

Slander, 32 

Slurs, 55 

Small Business Commission, 1 7 

Smoking, 47, 5 1 

Speaker, 40 

Special committees, 34 

Spelling Verifier, 45 

Sponsor, 24 

SRI International, 62 

Standing Committees, 33 

State Assembly, 4, 7 

State Legislation. 26 

State ofthe City, 38 

Statement of Purpose, 41 

Statements Econ. Interests, 46 

Stationery, 43 

Statute of Limitations, 42 

Street Closings, 45 

Strong Mayor Plan, 40 

Suggesting, 38 



Sunshine Ordinance, 20, 27, 41 



Team Building, 62 

Telephone for Information, 38 

Telephone Numbers, 48 

Telephone System, 48 

Teng, Mabel, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8. 10. 11. 12, 13 

Tenure of Aides, 52, 53 

Term Limits, 3 

Terms, 3, 5, 6 

Thirty day rule, 20 

Top Vote Getter, 35 

Toth, Rita, 59 

Transportation Authority, 1 2 

Treasurer, 5 

Truman, Harry, 62 

Tuesday, 21 

Turnover, 52 

Two terms, 3 

Two year terms, 2 

U 

U-Boat, 63 
Unanimous vote, 1 5 
United States Senator, 39 
Unsigned, 2 1 



Vacation, 52 
Vazquez, Moe, 44, 58 
Veterans Building, 51,57 
Veto, 15,21 
Visitors, 50 
Voice Mail, 32, 48 
Vote, 31 
Voters, 2 

w 

Walker, Nancy, 7, 8. 10, 1 1, 37 
Ward, Doris, 7, 8, 10, 11,36,37 
Wednesday Noon, 22, 24 
Whereas. 24 



68 



White, Dan, 8 

Windows, 44 

Withholding, 13 

Without Recommendation, 1 5 

Word Processing, 44, 45 



Yaki, Michael, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 

Year 1998, 5 

Year2000, 2, 6, 35 

Yee, Leland, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 

Young, Victor, 60 

Youth Commission, 1 7 



69 



Members of the Board of Supervisors 

of the City and County of San Francisco 

1980- 1998 



Amos Brown 
Angela AHoto 
Annemarie Conroy 
Barbara Kaufman 
Bill Maher 
Carol Ruth Silver 
Carole Migden 
Doris Ward 
Ella Hill Hutch 
Gavin Newsom 
Harry Britt 
Jim Gonzalez 
John Molinari 
Jose Medina 
Kevin Shelley 
Lee Dolson 
Leland Yee 



Leslie Katz 

Louise Renne 

Mabel Teng 

Mark Leno 

Michael Yaki 

Nancy Walker 

Quentin Kopp 

Richard Hongisto 

Roberta Achtenberg 

Sue Bierman 

Susan Leal 

Terence Hallinan 

Tom Ammiano 

Tom Hsieh 

Wendy Nelder 

Willie Kennedy 



70 



REF 351.7946 T215s 1998 

Taylor, John L. (John 
Lockhart), 1927- 
The Supervisor's 
handbook : for use when 
1998. 



ABAG • Academy of Sciences • Adult Probation • Affirmative Action • Aging • Agreements • Agriculture • AIDS 

• Air quality • Airport • Animal Control • Appeals • Appropriations • Architecture • Art • Art Exhibits • Asian Art 

• Audits • Balboa Reservoir • Bargaining Units • BART • Baseball • Bayview • BCDC • Bemal Heights • Bicycles 

• Block Grants • Bond Issues • Bond Ratings • Bonds • Bret Harte • Bridges • Budget • Buena Vista • Building 
Inspection • Building Repair • Buses • Business Taxes • Cable Television • CalTrain • CalTrans • Candlestick Park 

• Candlestick Point • Castro • Central Shops • Certificates of Honor • Charter • Children • China Basin • Chinatown 

• Citizen Complaints • City Administrator • City Attorney • City College • City Hall • Civic Center • Civil Service • 
Claims • Codes • Coit Tower • Commending • Community Development • Community Health • Computers • 
Conditional Uses • Congress • Controller • Conventions • Coroner • County Clerk • Courthouse • Courts • Cow 
Hollow • Crime • Criminal Justice • Crocker-Amazon • Data Processing • Davies Hall • De Young Museum • 
Delinquency Prevention • DeYoung Museum • Diamond Heights • Disabilities • District Attorney • Domestic Partners 

• Downtown • Earthquakes • Easements • Economy • Education • Elections • Electric Power • Electricity • 
Embarcadero • Emergency Services • Employment • Engineering • Environment • Equal Opportunity • Ethics 
Commission • Ethnicity • Examinations • Excelsior • Families • Family Support • Federal Budget • Federal 
Legislation • Fillmore • Film & Video Arts • Fine Arts Museums • Fire Prevention • Fire Suppression • Fisherman's 
Wharf • Football • Foreign Trade Zone • Fort Mason • Forty-Niners • Freeways • General Fund • General Hospital • 
GGNRA • Giants • Gifts • Glen Canyon • Glen Park • Golden Gate Bridge • Golden Gate Park • Grants • Haight • 
Harding Park • Hayes Valley • Health • Hetch Hetchy • Holocaust Memorial • Homeless • Honors • Hotel Tax • 
Housing • Housing Authority • Housing Projects • Human Resources • Human Rights • Human Services • Hunters 
Point • Information Services • Ingleside • Interest Rates • Investments • Islais Creek • Jails • Japan Center • Job 
Classification • Jobs • Judges • Juvenile Court • Juvenile Probation • Kezar Stadium • Labor • Labor Relations • 

Topics 



Some ofy?^^ the 
Board of ^^Jjders 



Laguna Honda • Lake Merced • Land Use • Landmarks • Laurel Heights • 



coO' 




in Full Boa. . . 
^ and^i Meetings 

Meetings 



Law Library • Leases • Legal Advertisements • Libraries • Lincoln Park • Litigation • Lobbyist Control • Lobbyists 

• Local Business • Maps • Marina • Mayor • McLaren Park • Medical Examiner • Medicine • Mental Health • 
Merced Heights • Minority Owned Business • Mission • Mission Bay • Modem Art • Moscone Center • Mount 
Davidson • Multi-Media • Muni Metro • Muni Railway • Municipal Court • Museums • Neighborhoods • 
Newspapers • Nine One One • Nob Hill • Noe Valley • Noise • North Beach • North of Market • North Point • 
Ocean Beach • Ocean View • Open Meetings • Open Space • Opera House • Ordinances • Pacific Heights • Palace of 
Legion of Honor • Park Merced • Park Presidio • Parking • Parks • Payroll • Performance Bonds • Performing Arts 

• Permit Appeals • Personnel • Planning • Playgrounds • Police • Polk Gulch • Port • Portola • Potrero Hill • 
Presidio • Public Administrator • Public Defender • Public Guardian • Public Hearings • Public Library • Public 
Notice • Public Utilities • Public Works • Purchaser • Racism • Rainfall • Real Estate • Real Estate Transfer Tax • 
Recorder • Records • Recreation • Recruiting • Redevelopment • Registrar of Voters • Rent Arbitration • Rent 
Control • Reports • Reserves • Resolutions • Retail Sales • Retirement • Retirement System • Revenues • Richmond 

• Risk Management • Rules of Order • Russian Hill • Salaries • Sales Tax • School District • Sea Cliff • Seismic 
Safety • Sewage Treatment • Sewers • Sheriff • Sidewalks •, Sister Cities • Small Business • Social Services • South 
Beach • South of Market • South Park • St. Francis Wood • State Budget • State Legislation • Status of Women • 
Steinhart Aquarium • Stem Grove • Stonestown • Stop Signs • Stow Lake • Strawberry Hill • Street Fairs • Street 
Names • Street Repair • Sunnydale • Sunset • Sunshine Ordinance • Superior Court • Surgery • Tax Assessment • 
Tax Collector • Taxes • Taxis • Telecommunications • Telegraph Hill • Tenderloin • Tourism • Traffic Enforcement 

• Traffic Engineering • Traffic Signals • Training Employees • Transportation • Treasure Island • Treasurer • Tree 
Planting • Trial Courts • Truck Repair • Twin Peaks • Union Square • Unions • United Nations Plaza • United States 
Mint • University of California • Utility Bills • Utility Users Tax • Vacancy Rates • Veterans • Veterans Building •